Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mother, Son on the Run after Refusing Chemotherapy

(Photo Courtesy: CNN)

Police all over the country are on the lookout for a mother and her 13-year-old son who went missing after refusing chemotherapy treatment that doctors say could save the boy's life.

Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel - who has Hodgkin's lymphoma - left their southern Minnesota home at sometime after a doctor's appointment and X-ray on Monday which showed his tumor had grown.

The Hauser family belongs to a religious group that believes in 'natural' healing methods. Daniel said that he believed chemotherapy would kill him. Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg ruled last week that Daniel's parents were guilty of medical negligence and issued a warrant for the mother's arrest on Tuesday and ruled her in contempt of court.

Minnesota's law requires parents to give their children all of the necessary medical treatment and the use of alternative or complementary healthcare is not enough. Rodenberg also ordered Daniel to be placed in foster care right away and be immediately evaluated by a cancer specialist for treatment.

Daniel's father, Anthony Hauser, testified to not knowing where his wife and son were and had not made any attempt to find them either. He testified that the last time he saw his son and wife was on Monday.

After Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, doctors recommended six treatments of chemotherapy but, Daniel decided to stop after one treatment. The judge said that Daniel - who has a learning disability and cannot read - did not fully understand either the risks and benefits of chemotherapy and did not believe that he was sick.

Daniel's father, Anthony is urging his son and wife to come back home after neither mother and son missed a court hearing. The judge had scheduled the hearing to review X-rays ordered by the court to evaluate Daniel's Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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