Yesterday, I wrote about Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who, with the support of his parents, has refused conventional therapy for his cancer, which would normally consist of chemotherapy and radiation. Given his stage and type of tumor, he could normally expect at least an 85% chance of surviving and perhaps even greater than 90%, wherea without therapy he is certain to die of his disease, barring a rare spontaneous remission. The reason given by his Daniel and his mother Colleen is that they belong to a highly dubious-sounding American Indian religion called Nemenhah, which is led by Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis, a white man who claims to be a naturopath and Native American “healer” peddling “cures” for AIDS and cancer. I originally described this as yet another case of irrational religious beliefs that reject science deluding another unfortunate child. Indeed, recently I learned that Chief Cloudpiler was also involved in the case of Chad Jessop, a 17-year-old who refused conventional treatment for melanoma. Indeed, he even commented on a blog I referenced about the case.

However, readers referred me to a story that makes me wonder if religion played such a huge role in Daniel Hauser’s refusal of chemotherapy after all. Actually, as I wrote yesterday’s post, I had contemplated that this might be the case as well. What made me think that is the fact that Daniel’s mother allowed him to undergo one round of chemotherapy right after his diagnosis. It was only after Daniel had a rough time with the chemotherapy that suddenly he started refusing to undergo any more chemotherapy. Add to that this bit of personal history, and the story becomes more complex, as one of Daniel’s doctors testified:

Joyce said during his testimony that Daniel’s diagnosis was not the same as Daniel’s aunt’s, who died after having chemotherapy.

Apparently this happened when Daniel was only 5. And then there’s the testimony of Shiree Oliver guardian ad litem:

Oliver said she thinks Daniel’s fear is caused by his aunt’s death and said she would recommend he see a counselor.

Oliver said she doesn’t fully understand the Nemenhah’s religious beliefs and doesn’t believe Daniel Hauser fully understands his religious beliefs or has the capacity to make decisions on his medical care by himself.

I would argue that such is true for the vast majority of 13-year-olds.

Then consider this. I have discussed now three children who have rejected chemotherapy or whose parents rejected chemotherapy for cancer. Daniel Hauser is only the most recent of them. Two of them may be familiar, and I alluded to them before: Katie Wernecke and Abraham Cherrix, the latter of whom was a frequent topic of this blog. Both of them had lymphoma. But not just any lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While Katie Wernecke’s parents refused radiation after a course of chemotherapy, Abraham Cherrix is much more like Daniel in that he refused further chemotherapy after having a rough time with his initial course. What all of these children (and parents) have in common is that they agreed to conventional treatment initially and then balked when they saw how difficult it was. And, make no mistake, I don’t minimize how bad chemotherapy for lymphoma can be. Despite advances over the last 30 years that have produced both treatments that are less toxic and better supportive and anti-emetic therapies, it’s still no walk in the park, and it’s even harder for a child to understand why enduring it is necessary. All the child knows is that he feels lousy, that the drugs are causing it, and that he feels better during the breaks between therapy. The parents, loving their child, see him suffering and complaining about it, but are unable to relieve it. They can only watch, hurting as they see their child hurt.

Is it any wonder that a child would do anything to make the awful feelings stop? Is it any wonder that some parents would latch on to any excuse they can find to make their child feel better while at the same time convincing themselves that they’re still treating the child’s cancer? Is it really that surprising that what some parents latch onto is a delusion, be it “alternative medicine” or religion? Is any more surprising that they would gravitate to a religious set of beliefs that seems to validate their rejection of conventional medicine and at the same time tell them that everything will be OK?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s surprising at all. Using religion to justify irrational choices is not limited to just medicine.

There’s also another factor at play here. It’s one that’s always puzzled me. For some reason, chemotherapy holds a particular horror for most people. Many operations are arguably as painful and difficult to recover from as chemotherapy; yet patients rarely refuse surgery. Comparatively speaking, they often refuse chemotherapy, at least in my experience. Indeed, remember when I wrote about cancer cure testimonials? I pointed out how, in many cases, the people making these testimonials accepted surgery for their tumors but rejected chemotherapy in favor of their favorite woo. Naturally, they attribute their survival to the woo instead of the surgery. The reason such “testimonials” are convincing is because, for most solid tumors that haven’t metastasized, surgical extirpation is the primary therapy (exceptions include anal cancer and testicular cancer), and chemotherapy is given in order to decrease the risk of recurrence. Let me repeat that: To decrease the risk of recurrence. What that means is that it’s quite possible to be “cured” by surgery alone, particularly for common tumors like breast or colon cancer. Refusing chemotherapy may make cure less likely, but chemotherapy isn’t absolutely essential to a cure occurring. The same is true of radiation. Most people don’t understand that; so the testimonials for the woo sound convincing: “I refused chemo and I’m still alive.” Of course, those who are no longer alive don’t give testimonials.

Unfortunately for Daniel, the primary treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not surgery. Indeed, surgery has a very limited role in Hodgkin’s lymphoma these days, mainly for diagnosis in the form of biopsies. Rather, the primary treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma consists of chemotherapy and radiation. Rejecting them is rejecting any reasonable chance at cure.

Another aspect of the fear of chemotherapy may well be how much it is associated with death from cancer in people’s minds. As cancer patients get sicker and chemotherapy begins to fail, the cancer starts to take its toll. Dying cancer patients frequently take on the cachectic look of a starving concentration camp survivor as the cancer does its evil work. To the average person, it may well appear more as though it’s the chemotherapy that’s making the patient sicker more than it is the tumor. Then the patient dies, and the linkage between chemotherapy and a horrible death is sealed in the mind of the family. It is an linkage that the “alternative” medicine cancer industry tries very hard to reinforce, as it offers “natural” medicines that supposedly cure cancer with no risk and no suffering. Would it were true! If it were, I would be totally on board using these “natural” therapies. But, sadly, whenever one looks at such claims more critically, they virtually always turn out to be without foundation or justification in science and clinical trials.

It’s not as if I’m oblivious to the fear of chemotherapy. Let’s face it. Chemotherapy is poison, and people are correctly afraid of poison. (Look for some woo-meister to quote-mine that sentence.) Chemotherapy poisons cancer cells, and the reason it can treat cancer is because it poisons the cancer cells more than it poisons normal cells. And radiation therapy does “burn.” It’s just that, the way it’s given, it’s more toxic to cancer cells than it is to the surrounding tissue, and that differential toxicity can be increased by administering it in numerous small fractions over several weeks. Be that as it may, older chemotherapy regimens could be very toxic indeed, and death due to immunosuppression and infection is a possible complication of even some of today’s chemotherapy regimens. What has to be considered is the risk of the chemotherapy versus the risk of death from cancer. In the case of metastatic cancer, the risk-benefit ratio to be considered is the risk of complications from the chemotherapy versus the relief of symptoms due to the cancer and the prolongation of life. Either way, it’s a tradeoff, with death looming in the background and some degree of suffering unavoidable. Worse, scientific medicine can’t promise what patients and parents want most: That everything will be OK. All it can give is percentages, which do not satisfy. And we all know that chemotherapy doesn’t always work; patients all too often die of their cancer anyway.

Religious quackery–or even non-religious quackery–doesn’t acknowledge that tradeoff. It promises the cure of deadly diseases with no risks and no suffering. I ask again: Is it any wonder that fearful parents or patients might seek solace in such irrational belief systems that tell them their child will be cured of a fatal disease with no suffering if they follow a “natural” therapy? Remember, Daniel’s mother testified that she believed that the “alternative” therapies Daniel was pursuing will result in a “100%” chance of Daniel’s surviving.

The more I think about this case, the more it seems to me that the specter of Daniel’s aunt is probably driving things and that religion is merely a convenient excuse for a decision that was far more the result of fear of a second round of chemotherapy in the wake of a rough course with the first round. After all, Daniel’s mother agreed to let him undergo chemotherapy at first. What probably happened is that they both freaked out when they saw the complications, echoes of Daniel’s aunt running through their minds, and that this led to their refusal to let Daniel undergo any further chemotherapy. Add to that being a member of a fake religion run by a highly dubious “healer,” and claiming that their religion forbids chemotherapy is a convenient justification to do what they wanted to do anyway regardless of religion. Indeed, apparently one of the lawyers assigned to Daniel says he will no longer acknowledge religion as a justification for Daniel’s decision:

Discussion about that testimony was forbidden by the judge, but an attorney assigned by the court to represent Danny’s best interests emerged from the session with a different perspective.

The lawyer, Thomas Sinas, said he’ll no longer acknowledge “the genuineness of Danny Hauser’s religious beliefs” based on his closed-door testimony. Sinas offered to explain the change, but Judge Rodenberg told him not to.

It’s all very easy to rail against religious ignorance as the cause of this tragic story, as many skeptics are doing (sometimes very heartlessly indeed) and certainly that was my first inclination. Often it’s justified, as in the case of Madeline Neuman, the 11-year-old girl whose parents allowed her to die from diabetic ketoacidosis rather than take her to a doctor because they believed that prayer would cure her. However, in this case, I’ve come to conclude that it’s all very knee-jerk and simplistic. Rather than being the driving cause of an irrational decision to reject curative chemotherapy in favor of quackery, in the case of Danny Hauser, religion appears to be more of an excuse to justify and provide a legal defense for a fear-driven decision in parents predisposed to “alternative” medicine. I’m again left wondering whether, if there had been better support mechanisms for families such as the Hauser family, this whole kerfuffle might have been avoided and Danny would be on his third course of curative chemotherapy right now. I realize that not everyone is reachable, but, given that Daniel’s refusal of chemotherapy appears to be far less driven by religion than I had first thought, perhaps he and his mother would have been more reachable than I had thought.

The legal decision is coming any day now (maybe even later today), and I fear the legal strategy to paint this issue as one of religious freedom rather than of child neglect and endangerment may work.

Orac’s commentary

  1. Another child sacrificing himself on the altar of irrational belief
  2. Daniel Hauser and his rejection of chemotherapy: Is religion the driving force or just a convenient excuse?
  3. Judge John Rodenberg gives chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser a chance to live
  4. Mike Adams brings home the crazy over the Daniel Hauser case
  5. The case of chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: I was afraid of this
  6. Chemotherapy versus death from cancer
  7. Chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: On the way to Mexico with his mother?
  8. An astoundingly inaccurate headline about the Daniel Hauser case
  9. Good news for Daniel Hauser!
  10. Daniel Hauser, fundraising, and “health freedom”

Comments

  1. #1 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    Oh Bruce @169 My argument was not an attack upon you personally. I would never stoop to such base behavior. I would however question “out of sorts behavior and attitude”. I was pointing out the occult “marlarky” in your “here’s what I would say” statement, as your facts were only particially correct. Again the great thing about time is it eventually reveals the truth.

    Peace

  2. #2 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    @184 I can’t agree more with you. However I am sorry for the mother and child who have now had to resort to such drastic measures to protect their rights. This is really sad. I think we are trully moving towards a police state in the US and that is frightening. The implecations of this case are enormous. One day we may wake to saying to our grand children I remember when we had freedom.

    Peace

  3. #3 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    @180 Chris there you go again with this narrow minded view of things I think this case is happening in the US, often called America. How do you know Tumaat is a male. Chris, a little thought goes a long way my friend.

    Peace

  4. #4 Joelle
    May 20, 2009

    In response to aftercancer’s comment: “I don’t know what the legal mechanisms should be but I want to give this kid chemo and lots of it, until he is “cancer free” or in remission. Then he can grow up and hate the government or become a homeopathic doctor if he wants but at least he’ll get to grow up.”

    Or … maybe in a few years, if he’s forced to go through treatment unwillingly, he’ll obtain some guns & ammo, and maybe even a few bombs. He’ll go on a shooting rampage at the hospital where he was forced into treatment, taking quite a few lives before turning a gun on himself and pulling the trigger. It’s unfortunate, but I feel that I *have* to point this out. Taking people’s power away, like that judge in Minnesota wants to do, often has extremely nasty consequences. I know that my example is pretty extreme, but people can’t assume that this kid is going to take such a thing in stride and grow up to be a mild-mannered libertarian or naturopath either.

  5. #5 Chris
    May 20, 2009

    Tumaat, as far I am concerned you could be a hermaphrodite, and Sam was calling you ignorant.

    While I agree with Sam that you are ignorant, I just think it is just as ignorant of Sam to claim the entire 300 million plus population of the country has that one attribute. I also tend to object to that particular country calling themselves “Americans” when there are two continents with “America” in their name (where I grew up they were called norteamericanos).

  6. #6 Christian
    May 21, 2009

    As usual, religion is seen as leading to irrational choices. Ironically, one of your more famous atheist intellectuals, Bill Maher, has come out against medicine such as aspirin, claiming it’s poisonous. Maher also told David Letterman not to take his medication after the latter had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery for similar reasons. Yet you atheists talk about religion as if not only is it only religion irrational, but also that it is the only irrational thing thing in the world. As if you getting rid of religion will somehow bring about a utopia. But how can you atheists be so sure you are not the irrational ones? Many of you atheists sound like you would get rid of religious people by any means necessary if you had the chance.

  7. #7 arkadaş
    May 21, 2009

    Sam, the question is how do you know that any one commenter is a certain nationality? With the double “aa” in his name tumaat could just as well be Dutch. Declaring all the persons in the third largest country by population with one single attribute is not very bright either.

  8. #8 resimlerine bak
    May 21, 2009

    Consider this situation:

    My son was born blind (anophthalmia) with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy.

    He is now 22, and has had numerous surgeries to correct the clefts, but still needs major surgery to his nose to look relatively ‘normal’, and requires veneers on his malformed teeth.

    His surgeon is giving him the choice as to whether he has a ‘nose job’, (albeit major surgery) in such a way that makes me want to swoon over doctors that deal with ‘kids in crisis’. Without any posturing or domineering, he has convinced my son that surgery for his nose is the best thing for him.

    For this, I am really grateful. I am a scientist (PhD in epidemiology), and a mother. I need and want the medical community to help my child and others like him to live and grow.

  9. #9 Natalie
    May 21, 2009

    Christian, are you sure you’re not at the wrong blog? This isn’t an atheist blog, and Orac already posted an entire post supporting his opinion that the reason these people are refusing treatment has little to do with their faith.

  10. #10 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    @191 Chris my darling, are you in the playground again?
    I was justifying my point, so I asked you the same question you asked Sam, but it seems to have eluded you mind.

    Nonetheless, thanks for attempting to defend me but it appears I am quite capable of that.

    By the way did you miss this…

    @178 I am sorry # 150, I meant I am with you. So said that people are stupid. Well, they deserve what they get. Some cancers, left alone, will remain dormant and never cause any problems. If you start chemo.surgery/radiation, you will sure die rather sooner.

    Posted by: Sam | May 19, 2009 9:06 PM

    You’ve got to look outside the box sometimes,amigos 😉

    Peace

  11. #11 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    @150
    “Many doctors know this in the US, but have not the courage to state such and promote it as they might just lose their privileged MD (license to play God).”

    …and here is why!!!

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2005/marshall-lecture.pdf

    again,

    I rest my case

  12. #12 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    Correction @196

    You’ve got to look outside the box sometimes,amigos/a 😉

    Peace

  13. #13 Marcus Ranum
    May 22, 2009

    Ironically, one of your more famous atheist intellectuals, Bill Maher…

    Now that’s irony. “Intellectual”?
    He’s an entertainer. And a woo-woo.

  14. #14 Jan
    May 23, 2009

    How dehydrated do you have to be before you will consent to drink from a source which has toxins that could cause you various cancers, liver, heart, spleen, or other organ damage, immune suppression, breathing problems, sterility, or even death, and is not 100 percent guaranteed to hydrate you? What if you decide to try something else, but a judge tells you to drink that swill under penalty of the law? This is the best analagy of chemo I can come up with at the moment. It is a horible decision cancer patients face every day. Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer. They do not guarantee a cure, a healthy life after treatment, or even longevity, and they do not guarantee no recurrence. Chemo is awful to endure, and I cut my own treatment short due to this fact. Your body knows this is poison, and mentally overcoming the instinct to run is a job in itself. I had five out of eight rounds before my instincts won out, and I am so glad. After I quit, it turned out my body had been so battered that more chemo probably would have killed me. I was hospitalized on IV nutrion for 10 days with a colon infection and possible perforation, and barely escaped surgery to give me a colostomy, perhaps even take part of my colon. I am a year and a half out from my chemo and a bit over a year from radiation, and still waiting for normal bloodwork, still disabled by fatigue and lack of stamina, among other things. After I endured what I did endure, I was told new studies are showing the chemo probably didn’t help my form of cancer after all. It affected my heart, my bone marrow, and who knows what else–I will find out down the line. And no one can tell me if it did anything against recurrence. It is all guesswork. I don’t know what the treatment is for this boy, and maybe it is nothing that will work, but I just have to support anyone’s decision not to endure chemotherapy, and to realize that whatever they face because of that, it is their decision. It is not anyone else’s place to force chemo on anyone who does not want it. Mushrooms do have a lot of amazing effects on health, and echinacea is something I used myself (short term–be careful and do research) to help boost my immune system after chemo. There are studies that are starting to show results with natural treatments, and if anything, the judge should appoint a panel of naturopaths to oversee this boy’s treatment accordingly, and not force him to undergo a toxic treatment he does not want. Please, please, don’t make this about religion or pass judgement on what you know so little about. Stop calling the mother ignorant. Why should she come back to this kind of reception? Work out a solution she and her boy can endure, and give it a chance to work.

  15. #15 Orac
    May 23, 2009

    Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The term “overall survival,” which is the gold standard endpoint for a well-designed cancer trial, means just that: overall survival. In other words, it counts everyone who survived, and the death rate counts every subject who died during the trial from any cause, be it cancer, complications from chemotherapy, or being run over by a bus.

    I’m sorry you had such a rough time with chemotherapy, but, please, do learn something about how clinical trials are actually performed before making such inaccurate statements.

  16. #16 Jan
    May 23, 2009

    How dehydrated do you have to be before you will consent to drink from a source which has toxins that could cause you various cancers, liver, heart, spleen, or other organ damage, immune suppression, breathing problems, sterility, or even death, and is not 100 percent guaranteed to hydrate you? What if you decide to try something else, but a judge tells you to drink that swill under penalty of the law? This is the best analagy of chemo I can come up with at the moment. It is a horible decision cancer patients face every day. Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer. They do not guarantee a cure, a healthy life after treatment, or even longevity, and they do not guarantee no recurrence. Chemo is awful to endure, and I cut my own treatment short due to this fact. Your body knows this is poison, and mentally overcoming the instinct to run is a job in itself. I had five out of eight rounds before my instincts won out, and I am so glad. After I quit, it turned out my body had been so battered that more chemo probably would have killed me. I was hospitalized on IV nutrion for 10 days with a colon infection and possible perforation, and barely escaped surgery to give me a colostomy, perhaps even take part of my colon. I am a year and a half out from my chemo and a bit over a year from radiation, and still waiting for normal bloodwork, still disabled by fatigue and lack of stamina, among other things. After I endured what I did endure, I was told new studies are showing the chemo probably didn’t help my form of cancer after all. It affected my heart, my bone marrow, and who knows what else–I will find out down the line. And no one can tell me if it did anything against recurrence. It is all guesswork. I don’t know what the treatment is for this boy, and maybe it is nothing that will work, but I just have to support anyone’s decision not to endure chemotherapy, and to realize that whatever they face because of that, it is their decision. It is not anyone else’s place to force chemo on anyone who does not want it. Mushrooms do have a lot of amazing effects on health, and echinacea is something I used myself (short term–be careful and do research) to help boost my immune system after chemo. There are studies that are starting to show results with natural treatments, and if anything, the judge should appoint a panel of naturopaths to oversee this boy’s treatment accordingly, and not force him to undergo a toxic treatment he does not want. Please, please, don’t make this about religion or pass judgement on what you know so little about. Stop calling the mother ignorant. Why should she come back to this kind of reception? Work out a solution she and her boy can endure, and give it a chance to work.

  17. #17 RA
    May 24, 2009

    My 25yr old son is going through treatment now for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. No it’s not fun. He was diagnosed with stage 3 the day after Thanksgiving. He has two more treatments left in this round of Chemo. He gets irate that this woman is allowing her son to die. That is what will happen if he is not treated. I believe in natural meds for many things in my life. Cancer is not one of them. My son would love to just take herbs and vitamins but he knows that the best outcome will come from chemo. Yes it makes him sick for a few days after a treatment but then he feels better till the next one. He knew the risks and the benefits of chemo, this young man doesn’t. From what has been reported he can’t even read to learn more about cancer. Daniel says he doesn’t feel that he is ill and that he doesn’t need treatments. Normally I believe that the government has too much say in our lives but in this case the judge was right in his order. We protect our children from abuse and neglect and this is what this amounts to. He has already stated that he is in pain and is having trouble breathing. I just hope that the mother doesn’t wait till it’s too late to help him.

  18. #18 DreadMacUserRoberts
    May 26, 2009

    Orac, go fuck yourself in the ass for saying that children are immature. Maturity is earned through life experiences, not given automatically based on age. I am 12, and i have had three surgeries and was in horrible pain.

  19. #19 RA
    May 26, 2009

    DreadMacUserRoberts…Point proven You are very immature.

  20. #20 JP
    May 26, 2009

    So wait, a parent can only make an informed decision that isn’t really a decision? Basically, you’re saying if they don’t do what you think they should do then they’re wrong? So there is no “choice”. A parent MUST choose chemo, period? If a child cannot make an informed choice then it’s up to the parents to make the choice, but when the parents make the same choice that the child makes then……they’re what, stupid? Is that what i’m getting from this?

  21. #21 AClemons
    May 26, 2009

    What right does the government have to force someone to receive medical treatment that they DO NOT want? Yes, I do believe that chemotherapy would probably be the best course of action but it is not MY life that hangs in the balance thus it is not my decision. Nor is it the government’s decision or the doctor’s. This decision belongs solely to Daniel and his parents (because he is a minor). Shame on anyone who wants to take away another person’s rights simply because they do not like their choices.

  22. #22 PRStein
    May 27, 2009

    It is an undisputable fact that chemotherapy will kill the individual if given long enough and that successful treatment is the ability to kill the cancer cells off before the patient. Chemotherapy destroys the immune system, weakening the individual to fight other threats including a reocurrence of cancer.

    There is some debate here but not nearly enough on the validity of alternative, natural treatments to cancer that are both effective and safer than chemotherapy. No doubt those not versed in natural therapies and basing much of their opinion and knowledge on what is spoon fed to them by the media (funded by pharmaceutical drug companies) are not going to respect a parent’s right to choose non-chemical approaches to curing cancer. However, it is a viable choice that everyone should consider if they are to make an informed decision on treating any disease.

    This story is picked apart by those with half-truths and misinformation, judging caring parents. Are we really to believe a good parent seeing their child suffer would allow him to choose no treatment if they believe this route will most likely kill him? Obviously, there is much at play here that we do not understand and it is none of our business.

    If we wish to debate the unnecessary death of children in this country we should look at all that medicine is doing wrong, taking the lives of many due to medical mistakes such as allergic reactions by infants to ingredients found in vaccines — too many given and given too early in a child’s life.

    I am a libertarian who believes gunpoint medicine is something that should terrify every parent in this country. I am just shocked how few look at this story as one of interference in a parent’s choice.

  23. #23 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    Here is more information about the traditional way to “treat” cancer:

    1/ “Cheo gene helps cancer thrive” at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6668727.stm

    2/ “Chemo drugs destroy brain cells” at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6156961.stm

    3/ Doctors ‘rely on chemo too much’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7722626.stm
    ” A review of 600 cancer patients who died within 30 days of treatment found that in more than a quarter of cases it actually hastened or caused death.”

    Looking for natural therapy at:
    http://www.orientalmedcare.com/testimonials.html

  24. #24 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

  25. #25 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

  26. #26 Mu
    May 29, 2009

    You left out the dried bear gall bladder, beating cobra heart and Siberian tiger penis in you list of effective TCM.

  27. #27 Orac
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

    Really? Got any scientific evicence that TCM doctors can cure cancer with herbs and acupuncture? I’ll wait.

  28. #28 Julie
    June 1, 2009

    Who CARES why they don’t want to undergo the treatment? Shouldn’t it be up to the patient and their family? They know the risks; know that it could cost him his life. HE is willing to take that risk, and so are they. He’s not a 5 year old child; he’s a young man. Forcing medical treatment on someone is a slippery slope.

  29. #29 Julie
    June 1, 2009

    Who CARES why they don’t want to undergo the treatment? Shouldn’t it be up to the patient and their family? They know the risks; know that it could cost him his life. HE is willing to take that risk, and so are they. He’s not a 5 year old child; he’s a young man. Forcing medical treatment on someone is a slippery slope.

  30. #30 Charles Kotulski
    June 18, 2009

    I think you are totally wrong and have no right to say what you have just wrote. Daniel’s refusal to chemotherapy had NOTHING to do with chemotherapy. My father is Daniel Hauser’s primary care physician. Chemotherapy does not cure as you said, so why have it. It causes so much unbearable pain and physical and emotional distress. Instead, the Hauser’s were leaning more towards alternative medicine such as Vitamin C therapy. This therapy is very cheap to the patient. It costs 20 times less than the average round of chemotherapy. You can look it up if you want. It also has a higher chance of curing cancer. Chemotherapy does not. There are no unbearable side-effects. Maybe a few red patches on the skin and loose stools. But if the patient is ill enough, these symptoms won’t occur because all of the Vit. C is being absorbed.
    Also, when a Doctor gives a round of chemotherapy, they are making several thousand dollars. Compare this to a doctor who gives a round of Vit. C therapy ($150). Chemotherapy is a huge money maker for the doctor and hospital, while Vit. C therapy not. Now you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

  31. #31 Charles Kotulski
    June 18, 2009

    (above statement had a mis-spell in it)
    I think you are totally wrong and have no right to say what you have just wrote. Daniel’s refusal to chemotherapy had NOTHING to do with RELIGION. My father is Daniel Hauser’s primary care physician. Chemotherapy does not cure as you said, so why have it. It causes so much unbearable pain and physical and emotional distress. Instead, the Hauser’s were leaning more towards alternative medicine such as Vitamin C therapy. This therapy is very cheap to the patient. It costs 20 times less than the average round of chemotherapy. You can look it up if you want. It also has a higher chance of curing cancer. Chemotherapy does not. There are no unbearable side-effects. Maybe a few red patches on the skin and loose stools. But if the patient is ill enough, these symptoms won’t occur because all of the Vit. C is being absorbed.
    Also, when a Doctor gives a round of chemotherapy, they are making several thousand dollars. Compare this to a doctor who gives a round of Vit. C therapy ($150). Chemotherapy is a huge money maker for the doctor and hospital, while Vit. C therapy not. Now you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

  32. #32 Fact-knower
    June 18, 2009

    Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

    FACT: Vitamin C therapy may be “cheap,” but it has not been demonstrated to be efficacious in treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    …try taking your own advice.

  33. #33 Fact-knower
    June 18, 2009
  34. #34 KB
    June 18, 2009

    I think you underplay how difficult chemotherapy is. My son had cancer at 2 — Burkitt’s lymphoma. The High Dose Methotrexate gave him a severe stroke and he suffered for months from the chemo and the chemo alone. When he had his stroke, his own doctors at first thought the chemo and couldn’t be the cause. They wanted to continue with the chemo schedule but we pushed back and said “no”, not until you find out why he had the stroke. Eventually they honed in on the methotrexate and reworked his protocol to eliminate that drug. If we hadn’t pushed, another dose would have killed him. If the doctors hadn’t been willing to listen to us and work with us, we would have taken him off chemo completely. Thankfully my son is alive and well (except for the consequences of the stroke, which are significant) 12 years later.

    I think oncologists need to be more forthright with their patients that chemo is horrible. Maybe find slightly different words but be clear, it’s a terrible challenge that will present multiple issues and you won’t know if its been worth it until the end. Oncologists also need to be more forthright with themselves — what we’ve got today isn’t even close to perfect, keep working. I know it is difficult to balance the goal every doctor (that I’ve ever met) has to help people with the reality that chemo is horrid, but please, please remember that chemo is horrid, cancer is slightly worse, and you need to work your butts off to widen that gap.

    I’m grateful that there are docs who live this out every day, but there are others who don’t know how to work with kids and families, and that’s where I think these kinds of cases come from.

  35. #35 Garry
    June 24, 2009

    This is so sad. Seems like a bunch of people without medical degrees are advising this kid and his parents. Sure, chemo therapy makes you sick, but it’s better than the alternative…being dead. I’ve survived two different types of cancer, the last, 6 years ago was a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had chemo treatments for 6 months. My oncologist told me that it was important not to loose weight while on chemo. Whether I felt like eating or not, I forced myself to eat small amounts several times a day. I actually gained a little weight in those 6 months. My first cancer was 13 years ago, the second 6 years ago. I get regular checkups and so far, I’m cancer free. I think the judge made the right decision

  36. #36 Garry
    June 24, 2009

    This is so sad. Seems like a bunch of people without medical degrees are advising this kid and his parents. Sure, chemo therapy makes you sick, but it’s better than the alternative…being dead. I’ve survived two different types of cancer, the last, 6 years ago was a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had chemo treatments for 6 months. My oncologist told me that it was important not to loose weight while on chemo. Whether I felt like eating or not, I forced myself to eat small amounts several times a day. I actually gained a little weight in those 6 months. My first cancer was 13 years ago, the second 6 years ago. I get regular checkups and so far, I’m cancer free. I think the judge made the right decision

  37. #37 carlos folmann
    June 26, 2009

    God use this man in Brazil, very, very strong. His names is Apost. Valdomiro Santiago. The main temple is located in Sao Paulo-Brazil, the phone number is 011 55 11 3577 3800.The lenguage in Brazil is portuguese, but i believe they have translater for spanish and englise.A lot of people going there.I see many people cured by the Power of God, in name of Jesus.Doctors and commum people, got healed.Cancer, H.i.v., ressurrectioned too.The name of the church is Igreja Mundial do Poder de Deus(World Church of the Power of God).You can see on youtube Apostolo Valdomiro Santiago.Thank you, and God bless your son and family.

  38. #38 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  39. #39 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  40. #40 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  41. #41 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  42. #42 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  43. #43 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  44. #44 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  45. #45 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  46. #46 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  47. #47 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  48. #48 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  49. #49 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  50. #50 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  51. #51 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  52. #52 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  53. #53 F. Beachler
    July 30, 2009

    Dear author,
    Let me guess…your own diet is chocked full of meat and processed foods. Chemotherapy – the administration of poison(s) refined by medical science over decades, makes perfect sense to someone engaged in such a lifestyle. To me, I’d like science to have more information about the cause(s) of Daniel’s disease instead of their fixation on learning how to administer poisons to cure the symptoms. Most of the medical science you cite as fact may indeed be empirical, and I question it. Will historians make the same analogies about chemotherapy in the future that we do today about mercury treatment and shock therapy?

    Finally, I don’t see how it’s in America’s best interest for the state to take the actions it has in Daniel’s case. Clearly Daniel’s family cares for him and they want to choose their own path, even if they fail. It becomes not an issue of negligence, but one of state and society’s power over the individual. Daniel’s doctors cannot be helping his disease by forcing him and his family through this stress. They obviously don’t care what happens to Daniel if they’re willing to see his mother end up in jail because she doesn’t agree with their methods. On top of it – their proposed cure has already failed for a family member of his. They seem to utterly lack compassion and may in fact be unqualified to treat him.

  54. #54 Colin Proctor
    August 25, 2009

    Why do these “experts” lie to people and give them false hope? I think people should have a choice to live and die the way they want – as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. Chemo may delay Daniel’s death but it will only be saved by natural means. The body is natural so why would something UN-natural heal cancer? There are so many ways to cure cancer it’s amazing! Cancer was not a big deal in the old days, they had lots of solutions. Chemo is not medicine – it does not cure anything – it does not address the CAUSE of the problem so why would it work? Treat the symptoms and what do you get? – more illness. Too many people believe too much in the competence of the medical establishment – you all need to start asking more questions and being a bit more skeptical, it might save your life.

  55. #55 Ramel
    August 25, 2009

    Fetch the sack.

  56. #56 William
    October 11, 2009

    I just want to know how hes doing AFTER all this. It’s been awhile and I was hoping he could get some natural treatments.

    I don’t understand why people don’t think that there is a cure for cancer, and it doesn’t come from man made machines. We all came from the earth, and the earth provides cures for every disease out there that the earth has to offer…
    All cancer is is just a fungus. I know there are things out there to kill fungus naturally, and if the hospitals would quit worrying about the almighty dollar and put humanity first then we wouldn’t have this problem. As a matter of fact, the hospitals have come across cures for many diseases by accident, but since theres no money in a cure they refuse to research it.

    Think about it… what the first thing the hospital asks you when you walk in the door? “How are you going to pay?” Thats their main focus is how you’re going to pay. Also, if you think about it… Name ONE drug or treatment ANY hospital has EVER made that “cured” anything? You can’t because there is none. The hospitals aren’t worried about your health, their worried about their income.

    I’m not saying every individual docter is more worried about their pay then about their patients, but the pharmacies as a whole who supposedly have all the medical and health knowledge cover up cures, covers up proof that their is other treatments then drugs, and other ways to be healed rather then with expensive anti-biotics and dangerous drugs.

  57. #57 Chris
    October 11, 2009

    William:

    I just want to know how hes doing AFTER all this. It’s been awhile and I was hoping he could get some natural treatments.

    Then why did you post on this older post from over four months ago, and not the more recent update from last month? If you read that you will see is doing quite well.

    William then tell us:

    All cancer is is just a fungus. I know there are things out there to kill fungus naturally,

    Um, where did you pick up that novel “fact”? How about you tell us what real evidence you have, and remember it cannot be some random website or book: actual scientific evidence.

  58. #58 Chris
    October 11, 2009

    William:

    Also, if you think about it… Name ONE drug or treatment ANY hospital has EVER made that “cured” anything? You can’t because there is none.

    Antibiotics for a variety of bacterial infections from strep throat to Hanson’s Disease (also known as leprosy).

  59. #59 David
    November 17, 2009

    To Post # 176:

    I really enjoyed and echo your views, Thought I’d also give everyone a follow up on Daniel Hauser’s situation:

    Judge drops case against family that denied chemo

    Associated Press
    Last update: November 17, 2009 – 4:34 PM

    NEW ULM, Minn. – A Brown County judge has closed the case on a teenager whom the court forced to undergo chemotherapy against his family’s wishes.

    Judge John Rodenberg says in his order that there’s no further need for court involvement after tests have shown 13-year-old Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye is now cancer-free.

    In April, family services officials in Brown County filed a child protection order after a doctor reported that Hauser’s family was refusing to treat his Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer with chemotherapy. Rodenberg ordered the treatment, prompting Hauser’s mother to flee with him to California for a week before returning to Minnesota.

    Hauser completed his final radiation treatment earlier this month. His family says he’s free of cancer.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/70300697.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsA

  60. #60 Jessica
    February 2, 2010

    I still can’t believe anyone could be so stupid. Someone needs to slap this bitch across the face. She basically murdered her son by being so ignorant and naive. The reason this idiot refused to get him treatment, and thought that “praying would cure him” is the EXACT same reason my grandmother died. Shame on her for being such a naive, crappy mother. I can’t stand seeing things like this happen, a child dying, when he could have at least gotten treatment. Life isn’t a fairytale, you don’t just “wish your problems away” and people who seem to view life that way really, really irritate the hell out of me. How old is she, 5? I could not believe when I saw all this going on on the news that someone would really be that dense. And the whole “treatment doesn’t always work” argument is absolutely ridiculous. Look how many things HAVE been fixed. A lot of money and effort has been put into medical research for a good reason- obviously you need to TREAT a disease like this to see improvement.
    I am not at all surprised that this boy died, everyone knew it was coming. And thanks to his incompetent mother, it didn’t take too long. Shame on her. I can’t believe someone would do that to their own child. It’s common sense that it was going to end badly if they refused treatment, OBVIOUSLY. I just can’t get over the fact that anyone could be so stupid. It disgusts me.

  61. #61 Chris
    February 2, 2010

    Jessica:

    I am not at all surprised that this boy died, everyone knew it was coming. And thanks to his incompetent mother, it didn’t take too long.

    Do you have a link to a news report that Danny Hauser has died? Because, as far as we know he responded to the treatment and is recovering. I looked and can’t find anything.

  62. #62 George
    April 13, 2010

    I would like someone to show me “real” evidence that chemo actually works…ther is none that is the real truth…why are we the sickest country in the world if our medicine is so great?

    There are many natural therapies out there work but you will never here about them because remeber natural thereapy; herbs, supplements etc. are not allowed to claim they can cure anything only big pharma can do that with their synthetic drugs which just make people sicker..

    Chemo kills more people than it “cures”…Anything that makes you lose your hair, lose weight, puke all the time is not good for the body…in fact in most cases chemo actually makes cancer spread…

    If my child was diagnosed with cancer she would not get chemo either…My wife and I are both educated people and know the facts of both sides and still live in the US which should mean we have the right to CHOSE how we want to raise and treat our child.

    Here is a study from a “peer reviewed” journal that is credible yet no one seems to care about its findings…

    http://cancerfighter.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/how-effective-is-chemotherapy

    Also I think we still have FREEDOM OF RELIGION in this country last time I checked it is in a pretty important document which is the framwork for our country!

  63. #63 Orac
    April 13, 2010

    That Australian article is not nearly as impressive as you think it is:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/daniel_hauser_shameless_commerce_and_hea.php

    And since this post is nearly a year old, with this I shut down comments.

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