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May 8th, 2009
11:08 AM ET

Forced Chemo?

A 13-YEAR-OLD MINNESOTA BOY HAS HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA, A VERY TREATABLE FORM OF CANCER.
BUT AFTER ONE ROUND OF CHEMOTHERAPY, HIS PARENTS SAID NO MORE.
MEMBERS OF AN AMERICAN INDIAN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION CALLED NEMENHAH, COLLEEN AND ANTHONY HAUSER INSIST CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION VIOLATE THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
INSTEAD THEY ARE TREATING THEIR SON DANNY WITH NATURAL THERAPIES, LIKE HERBS AND VITAMINS.
A COUNTY PROSECUTOR CALLS THAT "CHILD ENDANGERMENT", AND WANTS A JUDGE TO ORDER THE BOY INTO TREATMENT.
BOTH SIDES ARE FACING OFF IN COURT TODAY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
SHOULD THE STATE STEP IN TO POSSIBLY SAVE THIS BOY'S LIFE, OR SHOULD THE HAUSERS HAVE THE FINAL SAY WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR CHILD'S MEDICAL CARE?

By Maegan Ahern
Writer


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    There has to be a line drawn on all religion and medical procedures with the right to refuse.

    A jehovah witness refuses blood for their child on the view that it is against there religion the hospital calls in child protective services

    this family with the child agrees no more chemo they call in child protective services to attempt to go against the families religion

    however

    when a Jewish person (or not) circumcises their child without (the childs informed consent) no one cares yet this child has to live with the after effects

    so with these examples the MEDICAL comunnity chooses what religion they will respect and which one they will go against ?

    If the child in this report knows what is happening to him and fully understands it and REFUSES it then his wishes MUST be respected as HE is the one that has to go through with the treatment NOT the parents not the doctors not the d*mb*ss District attorney IT is and ONLY is the child going through it !!!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  2. LaRyssa

    The state should not step in. It is a religious and ethnic belief. Those two trump all. The rest is between them and God.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Ernest G. Vasilion

    What a dilemma! I wonder what changed the parent's minds after only one treatment. I think that both methods should be utilized. That way both sides would be happy and the 13 year old would get well and not done in!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  4. pete casa

    I'D LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THE "CLUNKER BILL" I UNDERSTAND IT PASSED THE HOUSE & THE SENATE HAS IT NOW, IS IT TRUE THEY ARE TRYING TO PASS IT BEFORE MEM DAY? ALSO I AM VERY INTERSESTED IN PIRATE STORIES!!!

    May 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Crystal Osborne

    Religion respect or quality of life respect? This young man, under the advise of his parents, should be the only one to make this choice. Experience, not religion, has had me to mark all of my medical files NO CHEMO EVER.

    My mother had ovarian cancer in 2001 and told me "I don't want no hospitals. I want my gorls to take care of me". We did, with eventual help from hospice. Our mother left to be with her Jesus 10-13-2001 without a bruise, bed sore, and with her beautiful hair. Yes, she lost her appetite, as it was in her liver also. But her wishes were honored.

    My sister had breast cancer and lymphoma right after we lost mom. She chose the surgery and radiation, which they burned her with, but said she needed no chemo. About a year later, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She went along with medical treatment recommended. Thet drew several litres of fluid from her stomach and started chemo. They told her that it was found in time that, with chemo, she had a 90 percent survival chance, so she went along, as they proceeded to torture the remainder of her life. Her husband loved her very much and saw to it she had the best specialists available. She was sick the rest of her life. She had a chemo induced stroke, which paralyzed her entire left side of her body, taking her eyesight on that side and her ability to walk. She had to relearn to swallow and to talk. The specialists at Virginia Tech wanted to decapitate her (under studant watch) as they said, to relieve brain pressure. Of course she finally refused this torture. All the chemo, blood tests, weight loss due to chemo induced sickness, hairloss, through it all, she kept her faith and her sweet half smile. We lost her 4-6-2006.

    When in America should any court be able to decide to force this possability on anyone? Especially a child. We have lost so many freedoms in this country. Yes, the freedom of religion is selective. But the freedom to make our own healthcare choices or those of our children can never be taken and America remain a democracy.

    This family needs to be left alone during this grieful time. I realize cancer is big money business in this country and anything other than FDA is not "permitted" to pubicly cure cancer, although it happens privately. Does our government really WANT this publicity, while we have senaters cured privately? Yes, this is a challange. All I ask is to leave this family alone, allow them the choices they have access to, or open the can and allow them and us the access you have. This would kill too much big business. Just leave them and others like us alone to at least die in peace. Perhaps his cure will not even be publicized if you leave them alone. You already have the hands of the media tied, but Americans aren't stupid just because you have us under the gun.

    Will this letter get edited out? Probably. But I am not the only American who suspects what is happening to us. I am just trying to put it out there before this child becomes a sacrificial lamb to protect the various cancer centers and billions going to the pharmacutical companies in this game. Not one cent from me.

    One American's opinion, although shared by many I have heard from. Please leave this child and his family alone, and in return, they will leave you alone.

    Thank you for reading this, whoever does before it is done away with.

    Sincerely;
    Crystal

    May 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  6. M.L. Read

    I worked for many years as a Nurse Onocologist and watched a child 9 years old, live in "hell" as his mother and father put it, until one day the Father and Mother came in to the office without the son. They went into the Dr.s office and after 10 minutes walked to the door with the Dr.. They all embraced and they left. Only later did we understand the decision they all three made. It involved quality of life for a 9 year old boy. Two years later we heard he was playing baseball and doing as well as a child could after ca. and chemo.. Bottom line it was their decision to make along with a wonderful, understanding Dr.. "We" were killing that dear little boy. Slowly but surely. His ca did NOT respond to the protocol of chemotherapy advised for his type of ca..
    I don't and can't know the bottom line, but I can wish and dream of a well young man now in his late 20's.

    May 9, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  7. Jennie F.

    This is a Patient Rights Violation here if medication is forced. Who defines the boundaries? Next thing, Big Bro will be forcing other types of medications we do not want.

    May 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  8. Kev

    "As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. " -Adolf Hitler

    May 16, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  9. disgusted

    Chemo'therapy' and Radiation do NOT cure cancer. There has never been ONE proven case of them curing cancer. They may kill cancer cells, and IF the body they are put in is strong enough to withstand many of their HEALTHY cells being destroyed during the process and rejuvenate them, they may survive. This is IF their immune system has been strong enough to regain itself BEFORE more cancer cells develop, in large part, due to the harsh chemicals which have been 'forced' into the body.

    There should NOT be a ruling that ANYONE has to receive 'therapy' which hasn't been 100% proven to cure cancer. All people need to wake up and realize that just as war isn't an answer for peace, the attack of cancer through the 'armies' of chemo and radiation sent in to attack and destroy it will not create 'peace' within the body of that war.

    May 17, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  10. Ada Eaton

    This ruling is an outrage! Of course this boy should not be forced to take a medical treatment that both he & his parents don't want. They might benefit from consulting with a different team of doctors (alternative doctors included) and they might benefit from all kinds of additional information from all sides of the medical issue. But NO court decision. This should be THEIR call.
    Not long back one could hardly put a plastic bandage on a kid's finger without parental consent. Now the "authorities" want to get an abortion for your 13-year-old without your knowledge. We'd all better wake up & make our voices heard!

    May 18, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  11. Jean Gerstner

    This is a parental rights issue. Obviously, the parents pursued the medical community to diagnose their son's condition and even started their recommended course of treatment, even though it went against their convictions. The son vehemently refuses the treatment and believes it is poisoning him. We know chemo destroys the immune system. What a patient perceives about the course of treatment they receive is critical in their recovery. The parents have shown diligence, competence and are obviously loving and caring. I believe they are looking out for the best interest of their own child. Though I know the medical community and judge believe they are doing right by this child, it enrages me that their opinions trump the patient and parents rights to determine what treatment they wish to pursue. The mother clearly spoke on being open to both treatments should his condition degrade. Now she has had to flee in order to avoid her son from being forced against his will to receive this treatment, which is rather barbaric. Do the doctors plan on tying him down? This sickens me and my heart goes out to this family and the additional stress they are having to endure. As if their situation was not already painful enough. My prayers are with them. I would hope that if my family were faced with this situation, others in large numbers would show their love and support.

    May 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  12. Stephanie

    I cant believe this happened in America!! Forced Medical treatment???
    This IS an outrage!!! Now the mother is claiming that chemo is the best option? I bet she was forced to say that in order to keep custody of her son so the public wouldnt continue to be outraged!!!
    Well, I am still outraged but the good news is that this case has been brought to the publics attention now everyone knows that out government FORCED a horrible treatment on a young boy.
    Terrible terrible terrible.

    By the way, has anyone run the numbers? CANCER is an INDUSTRY that is TOO BIG TO FAIL. How many jobs would be lost if we could cure cancer?

    May 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm |

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