I’ve been following this story for a while now, still uncertain about what I think. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’m certain about what I think — the problem is that I think several things that conflict with each other.
NEW ULM, Minn. – A judge returned 13-year-old Daniel Hauser to his parents’ custody today despite objections from the Brown County attorney in New Ulm.
During a one-hour hearing, Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg asked both parents, Anthony and Colleen Hauser, if they understood that Daniel needs chemotherapy to save his life. Both said: “Yes.”
The judge then said: “I take you at your word” and transferred his custody back to the parents.
Daniel, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was in the custody of Brown County authorities since his parents balked at chemo therapy after one round of treatment. Colleen and Daniel then fled to California for a week before returning early Monday….
A family spokesman told reporters today that after spending 12 hours with the family Monday he feels that the Hausers are ready to be more cooperative about how to best to treat their son’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he could not say the same for Daniel.
“I think the real problem is that Danny is going to be very resistant, even if the parents were to give their OK” to proceed with chemotherapy, said spokesman Dan Zwakman, who added that two doctors examined Daniel for a total of three hours Monday, but he did not have any update about the boy’s condition.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma was diagnosed in Daniel in January, and a Brown County judge ordered him into medical treatment earlier this month after his parents ceased his chemotherapy, citing religious and other objections. Doctors have testified that the boy has a 90 to 95 percent chance of surviving if he receives a recommended course of chemotherapy but only a 5 percent chance if he does not.
I’m leery of government intervention in such cases. I don’t like it. But given the very good odds of success if the boy is treated, plus the fact that he’s still just a child at 13, I also think that sitting back and doing nothing seems like accepting a child’s parental-assisted suicide.