A Mother Denies Her Son Chemotherapy

   By drodriguez  May 20, 2009

When a child is sick it seems only natural that parents do whatever necessary to make the child better.  This is why the case of Daniel Hauser has raised such heated debate and enraged the public. 

Daniel Hauser is a 13-year-old boy suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  There is now an arrest warrant out for his mother, Colleen Hauser, because she has refused the life-saving chemotherapy that doctors want to give Daniel.  Daniel’s doctors became alarmed and notified child protection officials when Colleen Hauser failed to return Daniel Hauser to chemotherapy after having just one treatment in January.

A recent article from the Star Tribune reported that Daniel and Colleen Hauser’s whereabouts are unknown, presumably running from the current arrest warrant and public demand that Daniel receive treatment.  The courts have also decided that when found, Daniel will be placed in foster care. 

Daniel’s doctors have testified in recent court hearings saying that his chance of survival with chemotherapy treatment would be between 80 and 95 percent, but without it he would probably die within 5 years.  Colleen Hauser has testified in a previous hearing that using chemotherapy on her son would violate her religion and thinks that the drug is a fatal poison.  She has said that she prefers using vitamins and other natural herbs to treat her son’s cancer.

Judge John Rodenburg has stated that the county proved “a compelling state interest in the life and welfare of Daniel sufficient to override the fundamental constitutional rights of both the parents and Daniel to the free exercise of religion and the due process right of the parents to direct the upbringing of their child.”  The judge also ruled that Daniel should remain in the custody of his parents if they comply with the treatments recommended by doctors.

What do you think of Colleen Hauser’s decision not to give her son chemotherapy for his cancer?

Do you think chemotherapy should be court ordered in this case?

Make a Comment

simplicity738 by simplicity738 | Vista, CA
Nov 05, 2009

I cannot imagine why any parent wouldn't do everything in their power to save their child's life! This is just ridiculous. I understand that she feels it violates her religion, but before anything, shouldn't her son come first? Understandably, the chemotherapy wouldn't be pleasant, but how is she going to feel a few years down the road when it's too late to do a darn thing about it, knowing she had a good chance to save his life? This just breaks my heart. I absolutely believe that if a court order is what it takes, then go for it!

hamster_mom by hamster_mom | LAS VEGAS, NV
Aug 18, 2009

I believe that a child shouldn't have to undergo medical treatments their parents don't want them to have. The courts should never have any say in the matter if the child is under age and the parents don't want to give treatment unless the child is old enough to understand what is going on and he or she wants the medical attention. I once took my 2 month old baby to the hospital with a fever. The doctor wanted to do a routine spinal tap checking for meningitis. They don't give the baby any sedatives. I said no in the beginning but the doctor was going to call the hospitals lawyer and get a judge to sign a paper saying I had to do it and I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital until it happened. He bullied me into it and this has happened to others. I now tell most parents that have small babies unless it's a real emergency never take their babies to the emergency room. I never did again.

crazygracie by crazygracie | Mcallen, TX
Aug 16, 2009

Just because of the mothers religion, she isnt going to let them give her son chemotherapy. So basically the mother is choosing religion over the life of her son. What kind of mother would do this. Daniel should get the chemotherapy ASAP. I do think it should be court ordered because he is small and probably doesnt know what to do and what is best.

oceangirl1 by oceangirl1 | Waterbury, CT
Aug 15, 2009

When you have cancer or a loved one has cancer so many thing's go through your mind. Chemo is posion being put into your body and you see your loved one so sick. Was this mother looking into alternative medications ? Did anyone ask Daniel what his wish was? Yes I would look into every alternative to save my child; I would be doing research 24/7. I am still researching every day. I am a cancer patient and I have a loved one (same immediate family) with cancer. I am patient and caregiver.

stsunflowers by stsunflowers | fremont, CA
Jul 07, 2009

i think his mother was a little nuts.. why else would she have police (or whoever) chasing after her?

mardel by mardel | SCHAUMBURG, IL
Jul 07, 2009

I understand her pain and struggle to keep her son from suffering any further. As if Cancer wasn't enough! I lost a brother 3 months shy of his b-day from Cancer and all through his young life Chemo tortured him physically and mentally ! It's a hard decision to make and I wish that know one would ever have to make!

chikitanydia by chikitanydia | montclair, NJ
Jul 06, 2009

This saddens me so much that someone will put there child in such danger like that. You should do what ever you can to help your children

Divagal by Divagal | Knoxville, TN
Jul 05, 2009

As a health care provider and a Mother, I cannot imagine not providing my child with the treatment that would in all probability save his life. This Mom needs some real education on the type of cancer her son has and the benefits of the proposed treatment. I think if she looked at this with an educated mind, her choices for treatment would be different.

mmb2153 by mmb2153 | Newark, NJ
Jun 18, 2009

Personally, I believe that it is a matter of her chances survival rates. If there is only a 5% chance of survival after chemo is introduced, I would do the same as her and spare my son the tortures of chemo, as it likely would not change his circumstances but intensify his troubles. If he had a high chance of survival after chemo was introduced I would certainly use it as a tool in his overcoming the illness.

Morkoor by Morkoor | Mount Laurel, NJ
Jun 16, 2009

This family is dealing with enough without having to be put under this scrutiny. Anyone who has been in this situation knows how awful chemotherapy treatments are for a peron to go thru. They also know that although the cancer maybe "cured" it can be for a short amount of time. Also, most people die from complications of the treatments and not the disease itself. People usually always survive the treatment. I am a person who has watched it both ways. I have had to watch the treatment and suffering of many people in my family. My aunt that died recently of pancreatic cancer was more frightened of the chemo than of dying without the suffering. She chose not to have chemo and died very peacefully a short time after her decision. This child should not be under foster care. He is suffering enough and so is mom. Give them a break and let them be.

Jun 15, 2009

I think it is very sad that Daniel has to go through this. But I do feel that he is a child and no matter what amount of maturity he may show he is incapable of making a medical decision. I also question his parent's motives. To many times parents inspire fear instead of hope and do not realize they are doing so. Daniel needs to have an opportunity at a full life. If the treatments were not as advance as they are I would understand the hesitation. But how could a mom not choose life?

scalcagno by scalcagno | Champaign, IL
Jun 13, 2009

I agree with others that this young boy is old enough to make his own decisions, however, he is still quite young and if his mother is as blindsighted as she sounds, he may share the same views that she does. If these are the religious beliefs that he has grown up being told were right, he may not be mature enough to understand what is in his best interest. Hopefully this young man will receive the care he needs very soon!!

woogoo by woogoo | louisville, KY
Jun 12, 2009

I am an advocate for holistic treatments, I wholly believe in the power of herbs. However I don't know of any real herbal treatments for any type of cancer. Only ones to help alleviate the symptoms of the chemo. I totally understand where she comes from. But, at the same time I would also try the chemo.

parisluvr by parisluvr | STOW, OH
Jun 11, 2009

If he were my son, I would definetly get the treatment for him. However, it is the mothers and the sons choice and she should not be punished for it. This is just another example of how more people need to get educated and more aware of cancer. There are so many misunderstandings and myths linked to the disease. Herbs are not going to cure it.

5frosts by 5frosts | Rochester, NY
Jun 08, 2009

I can't imagine ANY mother not doing every thing she could to save her child. However it takes courage of conviction to stand by your principles and beliefs. If it is against her religion and that is what she believes no matter what the cost if she believes God will step in if it is his will then who can tell her to go against that. The phrase oh ye of little faith comes to mind. Gods will will be done no matter who tries to get in his way. Nothing the mother, the boy or the courts can do about it. On the one hand I want to shake her and say save your boy, God helps those who help themselves. Then on the other hand God said to have the faith of a mustard seed. Leaving the fate of a dying child in Gods hands is certainly bigger than a mustard see. It is a choice we should be grateful we (that are writing) don't have to make. I thank God for my healthy little ones.