Mother flees with son to elude treatment order
Wednesday 20 May 2009
Police across the United States were on the look-out today for a mother and son who had fled their home in southern Minnesota to elude court-ordered chemotherapy for the boy, who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
An arrest warrant for Colleen Hauser was issued late Tuesday after she failed to appear for a court hearing on the condition of her 13-year-old son Daniel. Her husband told the judge that she had disappeared from their home with Daniel the previous evening and that he did not know where they were.
On Monday, Mrs Hauser had taken her son to their family doctor who said that a court-ordered X-ray had shown that his tumour was growing and needed urgent treatment. While Hodgkin's lymphoma is a serious condition, it is often effectively tackled with aggressive chemotherapy.
The Hauser family, of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, has been declining the treatment for the young man for religious reasons. They subscribe to the teachings of the Nemenhah Band, a religious group that believes in natural alternatives to modern medicine.
"I know many people around here who have had cancer, they did chemo, it would come back," Anthony Hauser, the boy's father, told the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis. "They did the chemo again and again and they are all in the grave. Chemo isn't foolproof."
He acknowledged that he was disappointed by his wife's actions saying that they had agreed to appear in court together on Tuesday. "She said she was going to leave," he told the court after showing up on his own. "She said, ''that's all you need to know.' And that's all I know."
In testimony unsealed this week, the young boy, who has learning disabilities, said if anyone tried to make him undergo chemotherapy, "I'd fight it. I'd punch them and I'd kick them".
The failure of the mother and son to show up on Tuesday surprised local officials. "It's absolutely crazy. It's very disappointing," commented James Olson, a lawyer for the local family services agency. "We're trying to do what's right for this young man."
In Missouri, the founder of the Nemenhah group, Philip Cloudpiler Landis, was critical of Mrs Hauser's actions. "She should have gone to court," he told the Associated Press yesterday. "It's how we work these things out. You don't solve anything by disregarding the order of the judge."
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 5 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...