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Good news for Daniel Hauser!

I’ve been writing a lot about the case of Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who underwent one course of chemotherapy and then decided he wanted to pursue “alternative therapy” based on fear of chemotherapy and the faux Native American religion that his mother had taken up with. Ultimately, after a judge ordered Daniel’s parents to make sure that Daniel received the chemotherapy and radiation therapy he needed, Daniel and his mother Colleen went on the lam last week and were last thought to be heading for Mexico and almost certain death.

That is, until sanity prevailed, at least for now:

Daniel Hauser and his mother Colleen have been returned to Minnesota — a week after fleeing from court-ordered cancer treatment for the boy and triggering a nationwide manhunt in the process.

The breakthrough in the case came when Colleen Hauser used an Orange County, Calif., attorney to contact the FBI and the Brown County Sheriff’s office. Colleen and Daniel, 13, returned on a chartered flight at 3 a.m. today and where reunited with their family on their farm in rural Sleepy Eye, authorities say. The boy was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Even better, Daniel is in the hospital:

According to the parents’ attorney, Daniel was taken by Brown County authorities to a hospital in the Twin Cities area where he could his condition evaluatedt. The attorney, Calvin Johnson, said even though Daniel was in the custody of Brown County child protection workers, Colleen and Anthony Hauser were with the boy at the hospital.

Brown County Attorney James Olson said he expects all charges to be dropped against Daniel’s mother. “That’s my plan right now,” Olson said. “We weren’t trying to be punitive.”

This is great news. Daniel now has a good chance of beating his lymphoma using effective, science-based therapy.

Dropping the charges against Colleen is probably the right approach, although clearly Daniel can’t be left in the full custody of his parents. She has already proven that she is not trustworthy and that she is likely to undermine, either directly or subtlely. I urge you to watch the video associated with the story. Hauser is still trying to duck her responsibility for the decision to run by saying it was Daniel’s decision. The problem is that Daniel is a 13-year-old boy, who clearly doesn’t have the capacity to make a life-and-death decision like that. Not only is he too young, but he is learning disabled. That should have been up to his parents. I can understand how hard it is to watch chemotherapy make their son suffer. I’ve said as much before. Being a parent is an incredibly difficult job under normal circumstances; when a child has cancer it requires a fortitude that can break a person’s heart to demonstrate. But that’s what parents have to do. It’s a possibility that anyone who brings a child into the world might have to face.

In any case, I predict that this story is not resolved yet. There will be appeals, and the fight will continue. Hopefully, though, Daniel will at least begin treatment. At the very least, there will be more media hype. I just learned from a local newscast that the video to which I linked was made by a media company in California before Colleen and Daniel returned to Minnesota. Anyone want to bet that Colleen’s preparing a movie or some sort of media project based on Daniel’s story? I hope not, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

Orac’s commentary

  1. Another child sacrificing himself on the altar of irrational belief
  2. Daniel Hauser and his rejection of chemotherapy: Is religion the driving force or just a convenient excuse?
  3. Judge John Rodenberg gives chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser a chance to live
  4. Mike Adams brings home the crazy over the Daniel Hauser case
  5. The case of chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: I was afraid of this
  6. Chemotherapy versus death from cancer
  7. Chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: On the way to Mexico with his mother?
  8. An astoundingly inaccurate headline about the Daniel Hauser case
  9. Good news for Daniel Hauser!
  10. Daniel Hauser, fundraising, and “health freedom”

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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