13 year old boy – update 2

Daniel Hauser and his mother, Colleen,  have returned to Minnesotta and will not be charged by the police.

Now, hopefully, he can get treatment for his Hodgkin’s Disease.

Here is (in my opinion) a well written article by ABC news with different viewpoints about the situation. It mentions important new information – the mother’s sister died while in chemotherapy and also their regular oncologist uses Integrated Medicine in his practice (which is using alternative treatments to help suppress side effects or promote destruction of the cancer). I think it is a fair and balanced article.

Doctor of Boy Who Fled Chemo Says Hausers Are “Good People”

And here is an editorial from the Toronto Star newspaper with the writer’s personal story of a friend who underwent chemotherapy for lymphoma. His point is that the chemotherapy is no walk in the park and has its own, dangerous side effects to deal with. So Colleen Hauser has motivation to want to protect her child from undergoing difficult chemotherapy, especially after Daniel had “violent effects” after his first round:

We Shouldn’t Be Judging the Chemo Kid

I surprised by the response I received after posting the original article. I thought some of you would click through to read the article out of curiosity, but I did not consider that it would elicit a response – from mothers, from advocates of alternative treatments, from former cancer patients. So I took a second look at why I posted the article and what I had to say about it.

My response was based on the fact that Hodgkin’s Disease is a treatable condition and I could not see any reason for the mother to deny chemo treatment for her son. If anything, I feel lucky to have such a treatable condition and to live in a place where I can get cutting-edge and effective treatment.

From the Toronto Star article: “Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 per cent cure rate with chemotherapy, and a 95 per cent chance of killing a person without it.”

Some articles about the Hausers mention the “Nemenhah Band” – a religious organization that promotes American Indian practices and is centered around a ‘do no harm’ position on medical treatment. Apparently, the mother found this group on the Internet and used them as justification for denying her son chemotherapy.

I invite you to go to the Nemenhah Band website and see for yourself what they represent. I can’t make heads or tails of it – it seems like a self-fulfilling group of people who first and foremost want you to support the group – “If you are willing to publicly declare that Natural Healing comprises part of your Spiritual Orientation, that you will First Do No Harm, and that you will work to further the work of perfecting and unifying the Band and the fulfilling of its mission, promising your support for its services and offerings, you are invited to become part of our Permanent Population through the ancient Principle of Spiritual Adoption.”

Their Principal Medicine Chief is named Phillip ‘Cloudpiler’ Landis. From Associated Press, Landis’ background is summarized “Phillip ‘Cloudpiler’ Landis was raised Mormon in western Washington and didn’t think much about what he considers his American Indian heritage until he went to prison.”What better place to have to sit and reflect upon what motivates you,” he said.” He claims that his cancer was cured by only natural and holistic treatments.

All of this made me pretty upset. Not at alternative treatments. But at using half-assed, internet-based ‘religious’ organizations to deny a child proper healthcare. So much for “First Do No Harm”.

A mother scared. A son too young and uneducated to understand what is going on. If this were a made-for-TV movie, I guess I’d have tears in my eyes by the end (Haley Joel Osmet would play the boy, Lynda Hamilton would play the mother).

Usually I am not fascinated by fleeting news stories. But I am always fascinated by what motivates people – especially what motivates a mother to deny her son the same kind of treatment that I am currently going through.

So, mothers hug your children and consider to what lengths you would go to protect them.

Everyone – take a moment to consider what you would do when the big cards are laid out on the table – cancer, aids, euthanasia, abortion – for you or for those closest to you.

We spend a lot of time arguing about what you think other people should do. But it mostly matters what you would choose to do for yourself or for your immediate loved ones.


6 responses to “13 year old boy – update 2

  1. Hi Steve,
    I thought of you when I first read about this boy, and you have given me answers to so many questions. Thank you for that, and you do have a way with words! I read this a work and the staff thinks I might be crazy!

    Keeping up with your blogs is seeing the world from inside your daily routine which we usually only view from the outside looking in. Besides giving you something to do, you have become an educator. LOL

    I believe you have a new calling as in being a liason for those scared mothers and fathers, etc. trying to make this frightening choice for loved ones. In fact, how about a book of your blogs just for that purpose? I am sure the Minnesota mom could use your insights.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and tell Jen I said hi.

  2. hey there

    Just checking up on you via your blog 🙂

    We think of you often over here is NYC!

    Nan xx

  3. Just got back from a long day out with your mom, aunt, and step-dad. Twas fun. We spoke of you lovingly! heh

  4. I saw the father on T.V. while the mom and son were missing. He said in regards to his wife…”Maybe she is just a little upset right now.” The way he said it struck me. I knew she would return.
    None of this shit is easy.

  5. Howdy Stephen. Will see you later today. Really enjoying being with you and Jen. Love you both so much.

  6. bottom line – if you run we will find you. so, don’t run.

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