Should courts force minors to have medical treatment?

daniel hauser

AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Kyndell Harkness

Latest update: In today’s hearing, the judge returned custody of Daniel Hauser to his parents as they have agreed to continue the court-ordered chemotherapy treatments. The judge will allow them to use alternative treatments in conjunction with the chemotherapy.

The case of
Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old with Hodgkin’s lymphoma
who is refusing chemotherapy treatment has sparked a national debate. The child and his mother spent a week on the run from law enforcement in order to avoid further court-ordered treatment. A judge ruled that Daniel’s parents medically neglected Daniel after the child did not return for more treatments after completing one round of chemotherapy. Due to their religious beliefs, Daniel’s family seeks legal permission to use alternative, non-invasive treatments to battle their son’s cancer.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 percent cure rate in children if treated with chemotherapy and radiation, but according to medical experts, left untreated Daniel will likely die.

Should a court of law be able to dictate to parents what medical treatment their child receives? Do you think Daniel’s parents medically neglected him by not continuing with chemotherapy treatment?

17 comments Add your comment

baptistpreecher

May 26th, 2009
3:26 pm

Sure, if it endangers their life and well-being by all means, force it. You people are flip-floppin again. If you’re against abortion, then you must be against war, and the bombing and killing of women and children. You also mus t be against the death penalty. And if so then maybe you are against letting a minor die that could live after receiving proper treatment. That’s Pro-Life right? If you’re going to go Pro-Life, Go Pro-Life ALL the way. Show some consistency. Where are the bible-thumpers now… this blog is dead I hear crickets in here.

William Burke

May 26th, 2009
3:44 pm

Absolutely not! Are we to believe that the state has a more profound desire for what is best for that child than the parents who gave him life? GET REAL!!! Chemotherapy (poisoning the patient) and radiation are some of the most pervasive forms of abuse and they are this childs future but for the sake of parents who have educated themselves and know better how to care for their child. In steps medicine when someone dares to stand against their forced abuses called “treatments” which are profoundly poor in providing long-term survivor rates. People need to wake up and learn the truth, that is, the Beautiful Truth from the DVD by the same name which you can learn more about here http://www.thebeautifultruthmovie.com/ or maybe Google “cancer cure” and for crying out loud stop giving your money to the cancer industry – they are lying to you.

Coastal Cavalier

May 26th, 2009
3:44 pm

I don’t think the government has any right to be participating in this and forcing the treatment. I did not think the government had a role in Terry Schiavo. The government on any level should not be in the business of protecting us from ourselves. There is a matter of personal responsibility. This, along with seat belt rules and countless other examples are just proof the nanny state exists and a lot of people in this country covet the government taking care of them from cradle to grave.

Fae

May 26th, 2009
3:48 pm

If those who cannot afford medical treatment are refused, treatment should not be forced on anyone.

jct

May 26th, 2009
3:57 pm

Part of life is making hard choices on treatment options. The family made a decision. Many of us don’t like it. However, making everything a court case is wrong. The family will live the choices that they have prayerfully and carefully made.

Just because you don’t like their choice doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to this choice.

That is what being pro-choice is about.

Gary

May 26th, 2009
4:08 pm

Absolutely not. The government has no business in the lives of private citizens. This is the same situation as with Terry Schiavo, the government should not be forcing a belief onto a family, especially one who has every right to choose the care they desire for their children whether we agree with it or not. I am sick that this is taking place in our country.

Jessica

May 26th, 2009
4:15 pm

This boy is old enough to have his own religious beliefs. If he is opposed to chemo for religious reasons of his own, then he should be allowed to refuse treatment. I don’t know what should happen in the case of a very young child, but this young man’s own religious convictions should be respected.

Gregory A. Beamer

May 26th, 2009
4:52 pm

As the parent of a cancer survivor (one year post treatment), I cannot state strongly enough that parents should go with the evidence. As a parent, however, I believe that is our right.

The problem with arguing that alternative treatments have not been shown to work is alternative treatments, overall, have not been tested scientifically. There are plenty of reasons for it not being studied. On the negative side is the profitability (food cannot be patented, so we have to artificially create the molecules to have any chance of recouping research dollars). One would think the government might fund more alternative studies, but the evidence that they do not is found on clinicaltrials.gov.

Note that I am not against the doctors. I think they are wonderful. But until we can state definitively that the parents are abusing their child by refusing the injection of poisons into the body, I am not sure we have a legal basis for denying parental rights.

What is even scarier is they are talking about strapping Daniel down to stop him from taking the lines out when he is undergoing treatment. Being strapped down and poisoned does not seem like a humane option, even if the science states a 95% cure rate.

I am concerned that Daniel undergoing alternative treatment, and dying, will be seen as an indictment. If he undergoes treatment, and dies, he will just be seen as one of the 5% that did not make it. That is sad.

I personally went with the odds in my daughter’s cancer. Today, I would still do the same. But I cannot criticize a parent who chooses a non-quack type of alternative treatment, as there is anectdotal evidence that some alternatives work.

Peace and Grace,
Greg

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mirandabeamer

Winfield J. Abbe

May 26th, 2009
5:02 pm

Most Americans, including parents, judges and yes, orthodox medical doctors, are extremely ignorant about cancer, and the dismal failure of orthdox cancer treatment over the years in the U.S. If any medical doctor seeks to deviate from the failed recommendations of the orthodoxy, they can have their license revoked. So why would any of them have the guts to speak up on this horror story of institutionalized American medical quackery? It is like a child telling a lie to his parents and then covering the lie with more lies, over and over again for almost 40 years now since 1971 when the failed war on cancer began. According to a recent NY Times article, over $105 billion has been squandered, yet about one person dies every minute either from cancer, treatment or both, usually treatment. Just because the false statistics claimed by the doctors are 90%, does not mean the boy, if treated, might not be in the other 10% failure and die. But if he did, they surely would find some other excuse for the death than the failed chemotherapy to blame it on. A proper and objective autopsy is rarely made of cancer patients who die while under treatment. So they often falsely blame the cancer rather than the treatment. The judge has legal immunity and cannot be held responsible if he is wrong and the boy dies after having chemotherapy.

Winfield J. Abbe

May 26th, 2009
5:15 pm

Many years ago a distinguished professor medical physics, physiology and medical statistics at UC Berkeley, the late professor Hardin Jones, Ph.D., carefully studied the false statistics on cancer patients given the orthodox treatment of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He found that patients that didn’t have any treatment at all, lived up to 4 times longer than those who received the failed treatment! Little has changed today. Here are some references to prove these statements:
“The truth about hydrazine sulfate-Dr. Gold Speaks” by Joseph Gold, M.D., http://www.hydrazinesulfate.org.
“American Cancer Society America’s Wealthiest ‘Non-Profit’ Institution” by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., International Journal of Health Services, 1999, also available at http://www.preventcancer.com.
“The Hidden Story of Cancer” by Brian Peskin E.E. and Amid Habib, M.D., Pinnacle Press, Houston, 2006-2008.
“The Cancer Industry” by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., Equinox PRess, N.Y., 1996, first published in 1980 as “The Cancer Syndrome”.
“CancerGAte 2005″ by Samuel S. Epstein M.D., W.W. NOrton, N.Y., 2005.
“Cancer and the Search for SElective Biochemical Inhibitors” by E.J. HOffman, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2007, 2nd Ed.
“University FAils to Offer Another Viewpoint” by Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., http://www.annieappleseedproject.org.
“Cancer and Vitamin C Therapy for Patients” by Reagan Houston, M.S, P.E., Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Aug./Sept., 2007

Deb

May 27th, 2009
4:57 am

Whatever happened to the right to informed consent/refusal?????????

Ray-ray

May 28th, 2009
8:11 pm

I don’t think the law should make people take lethal meds and hope the person lives and the cancer dies. The parents are just looking for a less scary option. You cant blame them for that. My mother had breast cancer 10 years ago and did both mainstream and alternative routes. We can squabble about many issues all day but the most important question here should be why are we getting cancer so young? Are we eating Genetically Engineered foods, formaldehyde from walls/carpet/furniture/bedding, mercury in our fillings and or HFCS, MSG in are conventionally grown fruit, phthalates/pesticides in our drinking water, taking in growth hormones and antibiotics from meat dairy and fish, microwaving the nutrients out of our food, blocking the production of Vit. D thru our skin with toxic sunscreen and who can afford Organic food? Is it really organic if the air is polluted? But thats a topic for a different day. Or will the shareholders see that it isnt?

H.L.

June 1st, 2009
11:01 am

I agree with the courts ruling. His therapy is in his best interest. Blessings to you young man.

[...] of our pills?” Sources: Los Angeles Times, June 1 — Los Angeles Times, June 1 — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 29 — Christian Science Monitor, May 29 — BBC, May [...]

Stop Addiction

June 6th, 2009
10:36 am

Jer

June 6th, 2009
4:10 pm

“The Beautiful Truth” is a movie with helpful information for those seeking to heal cancer. Check it out if you have time… http://www.netflix.com/Movie/The_Beautiful_Truth/70108390?lnkce=seRtLn&lnkctr=srchrd-sr&strkid=1961194725_0_0

Jer

June 6th, 2009
4:14 pm

Actually, just in case that previous link doesn’t work, here is another reference to the documentary about health, diet, cancer and the food and health care business in the US: The Beautiful Truth http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1288553/