Respectful Insolence

Over the last week, I’ve written about the case of a 13-year-old chemotherapy refusenik named Daniel Hauser, who lives in Minnesota. After having been diagnosed with a highly curable form of cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, back in February and having undergone one cycle of chemotherapy that apparently made him very sick, he refused further chemotherapy and his mother actually went to court to justify this decision. As part of their justification, they tried to use freedom of religion based on Daniel’s supposedly being a “medicine man” in a cult of faux Native American wannabes called Nemenhah, which is led by Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis (who really should be called “Woo-Piler”), a white man who claims to be a naturopath and Native American “healer” peddling “cures” for AIDS and cancer. At first, I chalked this up as yet another case of religion leading to rejecting conventional medicine based on irrational beliefs, but later decided that religion was merely a convenient excuse to reject further chemotherapy because Daniel and his mother were scared by his reaction to the chemotherapy, this fear amplified by the memory of an aunt who had died while receiving chemotherapy. In the meantime, a flock of “alternative medicine” boosters have descended upon the comments of my previous post, complete with testimonials and rants against the state.

Yesterday, Judge John Rodenberg ruled on the case:

Rodenberg found Daniel, who likes to do field work on the family farm, play baseball with his siblings and go sledding, has been “medically neglected” by his parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser.

The judge wrote that Daniel has only a “rudimentary understanding at best of the risks and benefits of chemotherapy. … he does not believe he is ill currently. The fact is that he is very ill currently.”

The judge allowed Daniel to stay with his parents, noting they love him and acted in good faith. But he gave them until Tuesday to get an updated chest X-ray and select an oncologist.

If the tumor has not grown and if Daniel’s prognosis remains optimistic, then chemotherapy and possible radiation appear to be in Daniel’s best interest, Rodenberg wrote. The judge said he would not order chemotherapy if doctors find the cancer is too advanced.

If chemotherapy is ordered and the family refuses, the judge said, Daniel will be placed in temporary custody. It was unclear how the medicine would be administered if the boy fights it.

Calvin Johnson, an attorney for Daniel’s parents, said the family is considering an appeal. For now, he said, Daniel is following the order and will have X-rays Monday.

His reasoning:

In this case, Rodenberg said, the state’s interest in protecting the child overrides the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression and a parent’s right to direct a child’s upbringing.

Medical neglect, Rodenberg said, clearly took place on April 29, when the Hausers did not follow one doctor’s advice to return to an oncologist, and on May 7, when they disregarded their family doctor’s recommendation to get the tumor X-rayed. Up until then, Rodenberg wrote, the family was seeking second opinions and alternatives.

That is undoubtedly true. The record shows that Daniel’s mother clearly went doctor-shopping, looking for a physician who would recommend something other than chemotherapy. She found none, because there is no other effective therapy for stage 2B Hodgkin’s disease Every doctor she saw told her that the child needed chemotherapy to have a good chance of survival, mainly because he does.

To me, this appears to be a reasonable ruling. Rather than taking Daniel from his parents’ custody immediately, Judge Rodenberg has made a point of putting the onus on the parents to get Daniel the medical care he needs to survive. He’s also left an “out” if the tumor is too advanced. It very likely won’t be; even stage IV Hodgkin’s disease has a reasonable shot at being cured with standard therapy. I can’t imagine a pediatric oncologist who would not recommend therapy in such a case, unless the child was moribund and already at death’s door, which Daniel clearly is not. Finally, he points out that Daniel can’t read and clearly lacks anything close to the ability to give informed consent, the latter of which is a hallmark of deciding whether a patient is competent to make his own medical decisions. He even left Daniel in the custody of his parents, the only downside to which I can see is that there is always the risk that they might flee, as Katie Wernecke’s parents did when the judge in her case ordered them to have her treated.

All of this still begs the question of what will happen after Daniel gets his next set of staging studies to determine the extent of his disease. If he refuses, medical personnel are left with the problems I discussed in detail regarding the practicality and ethics of using force to administer treatment to a 13-year-old boy who is large enough to put up considerable resistance. My hope is that, with family counseling and the judge clearly placing the onus on the parents to arrange for chemotherapy, Daniel and his mother will come around. As much as I’ve railed in the past about woo infiltrating academic medical centers, there may occasionally be a use for it if it persuades Daniel and his mother not to throw his life away, as the hospital where he would likely be treated has this:

Fear of chemotherapy is common among cancer patients, and Children’s Hospital has a program that incorporates herbal supplements, massage, acupuncture, and other alternative methods to help patients deal with the side effects of the medication. It’s unclear where Daniel will seek treatment.

There’s very little evidence that any of this does much of anything (other than massage, which at least feels good), but if psychologically it allows Daniel and his mother to justify chemotherapy it might be worth it in just this one case.

I’ll keep an eye out for reports next week on what Daniel’s repeat staging studies show.

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 epador
    May 16, 2009

    Its always sad to see an adolescent die from the ignorance and stupid actions of their parents, be it from the “gift” of keys to a fast sports car, lack of training or a moral compass, or delays in treatment that turn a curable into an incurable disease [or allow a preventable disease to flourish]. It is an interesting example of “well-intentioned” people very convinced of their position making destructive decisions and defending them as their boat sinks. You see it in politics all the time.

  2. #2 Ron B.
    May 16, 2009

    Ugh. I’m a Hodgkins survivor who can be called a survivor thanks to 8 months of the ABVD chemo regimen. Sure, the side effects of chemo sucked. To be honest, the side effects of Neupogen sucked even worse. Either way, those side effects were a small price to pay for having a life to live. Without chemo, I wouldn’t be here today chasing around two beautiful little girls, working in IT at a Rad Onc clinic, or playing in my weekly old man’s soccer league.

  3. #3 Jill
    May 16, 2009

    Wait, he’s 13 and can’t read? I haven’t read anything beyond your posts, Orac, but what else is going on if a teenager can’t read?

  4. #4 Phoenix Woman
    May 16, 2009

    Wait, he’s 13 and can’t read? I haven’t read anything beyond your posts, Orac, but what else is going on if a teenager can’t read?

    Uh-huh. You smell another “indigo child”, too, Jill?

  5. #5 Marilyn Mann
    May 16, 2009

    I wasn’t aware that he couldn’t read either. Are his parents keeping him out of school?

    I believe it was Child Protective Services that brought an action for medical neglect. His parents then chose to defend their actions. In other words, they were not required to put on a defense, but they did. Not saying this is an important point for purposes of your post, however.

  6. #6 Mu
    May 16, 2009

    From what we’ve learned about the parents, he’s a whole rainbow of colors kid.
    On the other hand, he was described as living on his parents dairy farm, most farmers are not too likely to run off to avoid complying with the judges ruling.

  7. #7 dean
    May 16, 2009

    “You smell another “indigo child”, too, Jill?”

    Please, don’t start this imaginary crap. It’s bad enough the child’s parents are fools who neglect him.

  8. #8 AnnR
    May 16, 2009

    I had to go back and re-read to see that he can’t read. I’m going to give them the benefit of a doubt and think that he’s learning disabled.

    It confirms my feeling that his parents failed him in helping him to manage his treatments. It does help a lot if you can realize you have a problem that will kill you and that the treatments, which are nasty, are going to help you.

    It does seem like an instance where protective services have been useful.

  9. #9 PAC Ellen
    May 16, 2009

    Fingers crossed that the family will come around; putting the onus on the parents is a good call on the judge’s part. As I said earlier, making it clear that if the kid dies they’ll be prosecuted for homicidal neglect is a good stick to balance the carrot of letting him stay with them while they find an oncologist and update the X-ray. Tuesday will be interesting.

    That said, I’m going to repeat my earlier comment: Life is not fair, it’s not sentimental, and the fact that Daniel is a child doesn’t protect him from death at the hands of stupid parents and a bad hand of cards. If he chooses to physically resist chemotherapy, then he is, sadly, old enough to die from stupidity. Medical personnel can only do so much to treat the boy.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people in the world who want to live, and who are trying to live, and who don’t get the combined resources of CPS, world class cancer clinics, and the state government on their side. Let’s turn to them. Statistically, one boy’s life may be lost, and that’s a stupid, stupid tragedy. But we can save many more. Ultimately, that’s what we need to focus on.

  10. #10 Greg House
    May 16, 2009

    It(He,She) is lamentable these things, because a time ago behind wise that the medical services were a problem for many persons and up to the moment they neither find they do not even give any solution, apparently the government forgot what promised and it is now where it is that to there be remembered(reminded), before that is very late, the medical assurance is important for many people, like that they indicate it in findrxonline, the web page that delivers a lot of information about this debate.

  11. #11 pelican
    May 16, 2009

    I think we, as a culture, are going to pay a huge societal price in the next ten to fifteen years for tolerating the “home-school” movement.

    I know of a number of other home-schooled teenagers who are functionally illiterate- healthy teenagers from communities with excellent public schools who would definitely be successful students if they were enrolled.

    While I, grudgingly, support the right of parents to indoctrinate their children as they see fit, but I think the state needs to be involved to insure basic literacy for all- reading, writing, basic math. Yes, the state fails at this sometimes- particularly in inner city, impoverished schools- but this occasional failure doesn’t excuse the ridiculousness that home-schooling has become.

    Poor Daniel- if survives his cancer to inherit the farm- how will he be able to effectively enter into contracts to sell his milk or cows? To understand a loan to buy new milking equipment, or a new truck?

  12. #12 goatgirl
    May 16, 2009

    Did any of you read the transcript of Daniel’s testimony to the judge? (It’s posted at the Mpls. Star Tribune Web site.)

    This kid doesn’t just have a learning disability. He cannot read and likely never will be able to read well. Go check out the transcript. Apparently the judge asked Daniel to read his affidavit stating his religious objections to treatment. The mom quickly intervened and asked if Daniel could be sent out of the room so she could explain. Her testimony for this particular portion of the hearing has been sealed, so we don’t know any of the actual details. But from the fragments that appear in the transcript, there apparently were some issues during either pregnancy or delivery that resulted in what appears to be a permanent disability for Daniel.

    In other stories I’ve read about the Hausers, most or all of their 8 children were delivered at home with the help of a midwife. Daniel told the judge that he’s always been a little behind the rest of his siblings – the runt of the litter, so to speak. In any case, it argues that this kid is likely more vulnerable than most 13-year-olds. It was pretty clear from his testimony that he doesn’t really understand his diagnosis or treatment or any of the issues at stake right now. He seems to rely on his mother to an unusual degree, more so than many kids his age.

    I think the key to this is the mother. Maybe there’s some guilt about the circumstances of his birth, or maybe she feels especially protective of him. I don’t know. Maybe his birth was just one more thing that fueled her mistrust of the medical system.

    According to the transcript and the judge’s order, the kid apparently was starting to get a little feverish last week, possibly portending the worsening of his disease. A couple of days before the CHIPS hearing, his mom took him to their medical doctor in Sleepy Eye – and then refused a chest X-ray. I can’t quite figure it out. She seems ambivalent – on the one hand seeking out treatment and medical care for Daniel and on the other hand pushing it away. It’s like there’s this huge wall of denial, or fear, or mistrust, or something, that she can’t get past.

    I don’t know where the dad is in all of this. I’ve noticed he rarely speaks to the media and in fact did not even testify at the hearing last week.

    Someone really needs to try to get through to the mom and get some sense of where she’s coming from, and get her on board. If she can reach the point where she’s OK with having him treated, then I have a feeling that Daniel will be reasonably OK with it too. I feel there is more to this case than what the media has been able to portray. We’d all like for it to be a simple, open and closed case… and it isn’t.

  13. #13 ikew
    May 16, 2009

    I dislike your civilized obsession with human life.
    Clearly the boy has mental capacity not unlike the one of a primate. Yet monkeys are joyfully maimed in various ways in the name of scientific progress, while dysfunctional humans are forced to live.

    Just shoot the little critter. And his family. Or test drugs on them. You hypocrites. :)

  14. #14 Donna B.
    May 16, 2009

    pelican – there surely are some crazies doing home-schooling, but to counter your run-ins with illiterate home-schooled children, I offer the anecdote of those I know who are either now college students or run a successful business of their own.

    goatgirl – thanks for your comment.

  15. #15 cm
    May 16, 2009

    Grammar point: Orac used “this begs the question” to mean “this raises the question”.

    OK, I guess this has gone over some threshold in English now, and I see Merriam-Webster is including it one use of “beg”, but I find this phrase used this way annoying. Originally that phrase was used in philosophy in a specific way. Someone was uppity enough about this to make a website on the point:

    http://begthequestion.info/

    I think Orac’s writing and content is aces. I hope an occasional little guff about a word or phrase usage is excusable?

  16. #16 BluegrassGeek
    May 16, 2009

    goatgirl
    According to the transcript and the judge’s order, the kid apparently was starting to get a little feverish last week, possibly portending the worsening of his disease. A couple of days before the CHIPS hearing, his mom took him to their medical doctor in Sleepy Eye – and then refused a chest X-ray. I can’t quite figure it out. She seems ambivalent – on the one hand seeking out treatment and medical care for Daniel and on the other hand pushing it away. It’s like there’s this huge wall of denial, or fear, or mistrust, or something, that she can’t get past.

    I see this a lot in the ER. Patients want help, but believe that certain treatments are “harmful,” or they just don’t like the pain involved (blood gasses), so they refuse. It really hampers the doctor’s ability to diagnose & treat, but the patients don’t care about that. The doctor is supposed to be a miracle worker, not a scientist, in their eyes.

  17. #17 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    I think Orac’s writing and content is aces. I hope an occasional little guff about a word or phrase usage is excusable?

    Not when it’s the only purpose of a comment, it isn’t. (Hint.)

    I absolutely despise pedantry like this in the comments, as I have pointed out on multiple occasions before. Much of the time, I delete grammar and spelling flames without explanation because they contribute nothing–and I do mean nothing–to the discussion.

  18. #18 WaitAMinute
    May 16, 2009

    a 13-year old who can’t read!?!? the state should fine his parents for that!

  19. #19 Basiorana
    May 16, 2009

    Yeah, the fact that he can’t read is the most significant factor to me. They actually consider the medical decisions of a mentally disabled child, who could have learned to read if he was placed in appropriate school programs with qualified special-education teachers, to be valid? At least he should have been EVALUATED. Severely Down’s children can learn to read with good teachers; if he can talk and doesn’t have a specific sequencing disorder or something a teacher could have helped him.

    His parents neglected him physically, by denying him medical care from before he was born, potentially even causing his disability– though we’ll likely never know, because there was no early medical care that would have potentially discovered the problem… then they neglected him further, denying him the proper education that could have enabled him to be a productive member of society. I mean, mental disabilities don’t necessarily mean you’re stuck spending your life selling quack medicine.

    That the judge would even consider the desires and “religious beliefs” of abusively neglectful parents and a mentally disabled child is absurd.

  20. #20 Pen
    May 16, 2009

    It’s rather fun to see that people who enjoy Orac’s put-downs of evidenceless woo are so quick to jump to apparently unwarranted conclusions in other areas. Where did the idea that this child is homeschooled come from? And what’s the deal of jumping on 13-year-olds who can’t read without more information? I know adults (with Down’s Syndrome) who can’t read, and I’m sure there are other explanations. Intelligent criticism uses actual information, I suspect that if some of you guys are right, it’s purely by accident.

  21. #21 Bryan Blackburn
    May 16, 2009

    http://www.ghchealth.com/chemotherapy-quotes.html for opinions on cancer as to the efficacy of chemo and more.

    http://www.cancertutor.com/ChemoSpill/deathbydoctoring4.htm
    also for your edification.

    Doctors are the 5th leading cause of death in the USA. Just say no to doctors.

    Read about miracle mineral suplement google it and read the free book at Jim Humbles website it will amaze you how crooked the medical profession has become. Liten to the tape dead doctors don’t lie.

    Pull your heads out people and learn to read and study the cures are easy to find if your not a brain dead moron that kisses your doctors posterior. Take responsibility for your own health and quit trusting the shade tree mechanics people call doctors.

  22. #22 Bryan Blackburn
    May 16, 2009

    most chemo doctors wouldn’t do chemo either by the way according to a survey of doctors. I believe the survey was like 90% wouldn’t

  23. #23 Bryan Blackburn
    May 16, 2009

    “In the end, there is no proof that chemotherapy actually extends life in the vast majority of cases , and this is the great lie about chemotherapy, that somehow there is a correlation between shrinking a tumour and extending the life of a patient.” Dr Ralph Moss.

    Scientists based at McGill Cancer Centre sent a questionnaire to 118 lung cancer doctors to determine what degree of faith these practicing cancer physicians placed in the therapies they administered. They were asked to imagine that they had cancer and were asked which of six current trials they would choose. 79 doctors responded of which 64 (81%) would not consent to be in any trial containing Cisplatin – one of the common chemotherapy drugs they were trialling, (currently achieving worldwide sales of about $110,000,000 a year) and 58 of the 79 (73%) found that all the trials in question were unacceptable due to the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptably high degree of toxicity.

    If you dise with the state on this issue history will brand you in the same light they do peasants with torches and pitchforks. You need to go back to school and demand your money back because your all a buch of blithering idiots to take the states side on this issue Any half way intelligent student of reality would be able to disarm you in even the most limited of debates. Doctors kill more people than guns, car wrecks, and illegal drugs combined. So how come it’s still legal to be a doctor.

  24. #24 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    most chemo doctors wouldn’t do chemo either by the way according to a survey of doctors. I believe the survey was like 90% wouldn’t

  25. #25 cm
    May 16, 2009

    Ok, thanks for that. Just fucking ban me then, OK? Fuck it.

  26. #26 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    Why would I ban you? It takes a lot more than annoying me once for me to ban anyone. Hell, I put up with John Best and “Evil Dawn” for months if not years before banning them.

    I was merely telling you that I find pedantry (such as the kind that you demonstrated over “begs the question”) annoying enough that I often delete it, given how often commenters have done it over the last four years. Ditto spelling or typo flames. Indeed, over that time I’ve become far less tolerant of such comments because they serve mainly as a “look how smart I am” one-upsmanship that contributes nothing of substance to the discussion and is off-topic. Sometimes they even sidetrack things in a most annoying fashion. Sorry if you found my remark insulting, but I find such pedantry irritating enough that sometimes, rather than just ignoring it (which is what I should do), I react very, very negatively.

    Ah, hell. Next time I’ll either ignore it or just delete it without comment, rather than leaving it stand. And, no, you’re not banned. Again, what would I do that for?

  27. #27 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    Scientists based at McGill Cancer Centre sent a questionnaire to 118 lung cancer doctors to determine what degree of faith these practicing cancer physicians placed in the therapies they administered. They were asked to imagine that they had cancer and were asked which of six current trials they would choose. 79 doctors responded of which 64 (81%) would not consent to be in any trial containing Cisplatin – one of the common chemotherapy drugs they were trialling, (currently achieving worldwide sales of about $110,000,000 a year) and 58 of the 79 (73%) found that all the trials in question were unacceptable due to the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptably high degree of toxicity.

    Please provide the reference for the peer-reviewed research article that published the results of this study. Thank you.

  28. #28 Michael Simpson
    May 16, 2009

    I found this review of the study from McGill.

    In 1986, McGill Cancer Center scientists sent a questionnaire to 118 doctors who treated non-small-cell lung cancer. More than three quarters of them recruited patients and carried out trials of toxic drugs for lung cancer. They were asked to imagine that they themselves had cancer, and were asked which of six current trials they themselves would choose. Of the 79 respondents, 64 (81%) said they would not consent to be in a trial containing cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug. Fifty-eight or 74% of the oncologists found all the trials using any type of chemotherapy unacceptable. What reasons did they give? Basically, they quoted the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity.

    It seems to be quoted in a lot of alt-med books and websites. However, I can’t find where it was published. Not that this has much to do poor Daniel Hauser, but it’s oft-quoted here, so I’m not one to take information at face value, I wanted to see what it really said. First of all, I kind of laugh at 1986 based information. The way medicine has evolved, I’m not sure it’s very useful. And second, since I can’t read the primary sources, I don’t know what was really asked. Maybe Orac has a magical way of searching in PubMed or Medline that I can’t seem to do. I’ve probably just run 30 differently worded searches for the publication, and either it’s hidden in an article without an obvious title, or it just doesn’t exist. I’ve run across “urban myths” of science that reported over and over on the net, only when trying to track down the original source, I found out it was misquoted. Creationists do this a lot.

    Back on topic. I’m not sure I have seen the answer to this question: “if the child is removed from his parents, and legal guardianship transfers to the state, and if the state insists the procedure proceed, must a physician follow the requests of the new parents, i.e. the state?” Some physicians have stated that they would be somewhat uncomfortable with treating Daniel against his wishes, but aren’t parental wishes (in this case the state) supersede any ethical concerns?

    Maybe Orac or someone answered that question, but given my brain automatically skips over alt-med ranting on here, I might have missed the question or answer.

  29. #29 Michael Simpson
    May 16, 2009

    After wasting an hour searching for this reference from McGill’s Cancer Centre, it appears it was not published, except in an abstract at a meeting in 1987. The survey was specifically about cisplatin and non-small cell lung carcinoma. I would conclude that the physicians really didn’t like cisplatin, and made no opinion about chemotherapy. Another urban myth that’s repeated over and over and over. Like Al Gore inventing the internet (he never said that, and that’s a fact) or WMD’s in Iraq (didn’t exist).

  30. #30 #1 Dinosaur
    May 16, 2009

    Orac:

    Apologies for going off-topic, but the #10 comment above is spam; it’s just gibberish but it includes the website reference “findrxonline”. I get these frequently (always with different names) and delete them immediately. I’m surprised you missed it.

    My intention is to be helpful instead of “gotcha”, though I’d understand if you want to delete this too.

  31. #31 Dianne
    May 16, 2009

    Even assuming that the 1986 study is real and accurately reported in the altie press, it was 1986–23 years ago, for FSM’s sake! A lot has changed since then. To name a few:
    1. The development of truly effective anti-emetics for chemotherapy so that most patients receiving chemotherapy, including cis-platin (a notoriously emetigenic form of chemo) may never experience chemo nausea. I haven’t yet admitted someone for chemo related dehydration, for example.
    2. The development of stem cell stimulants which mean that fewer patients with cancer end up in the hospital–or dying–of febrile neutropenia. It’s still a risk but a much attenuated one.
    3. The chemo has changed. Cis-platin is a useful drug in many situations and I’d take it in an instant if I had testicular cancer* or nasopharyngeal cancer. However, it isn’t really the most usual first line drug for lung cancer these days. There are a number of drugs that are more commonly used including carboplatin, taxol, and premetrexed. All of which are less toxic.
    4. The supportive care and chemo schedules for cis-platin are better now. Even simple things like giving IV hydration afterward and screening for sub-clinical CRF before giving cisplatin can really improve outcomes.
    5. NSCLC is the wrong disease to ask about. Most NSCLC is either surgically curable or incurable. Chemo only rarely helps, even now**. If you asked 118 physicians whether they would accept chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer or stage II/III breast cancer I would expect at least 117 of them to say yes.

    *Though I can say with some confidence that I will never have testicular cancer.
    **Though I could write another comment about this…

  32. #32 Anne
    May 16, 2009

    According to Judge Rodenberg’s order, Minnesota law expressly provides that “complementary and alternative health care” isn’t sufficient to satisfy the requirement that parents must provide “necessary medical care” for their children. In this case, the Judge said acknowledged that people might disagree with Minnesota’s statutory laws in this regard, but that he was required to follow them. I have no idea whether any other states have enacted similar laws.

  33. #33 arkadaş
    May 16, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    After all, it has now been getting coooolder for more than half my life here on earth so far.
    Actually, is the second half of your life colder than the first half?

    Didn’t think so.

  34. #34 luna1580
    May 16, 2009

    if anyone still reading cares about the further specifics of the “native american” “religion” involved in this case, here is a summary of what lynna, myself and others dredged up over @ pharyngula when PZ posted the first thread about daniel hauser, 13-year-old “nemenhah medicine man” (this title is given to all nemenhah members aged 13 or over -as long as they’ve paid all the “suggested” donations):

    the “nemenhah band” is not a true native group. rather, it is the creation of a white double felon (for fraud) naturopath named phillip r. landis, aka “cloudpiler”.
    read about this here:

    http://www.startribune.com/local/44755337.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

    the other interesting thing here, is that landis-cloudpiler “discovered” the existence of the “nemenhah” in a controversial mormon text, the mentinah or “book of hagoth”, see a brief discussion here:

    http://provopulse.com/?q=node/1538

    landis himself is the “translator” of this “ancient text” supposedly found in an undisclosed american location engraved on plates in an unknown holy language (just like the book of mormon). the mainstream LDS church doesn’t officially recognize this “book.” it was after his “translations” that landis sought to have the nemenhah recognized as a legitimate native band. oh, that also happened after a real native tribe challenged his use of their name using “the ceremonial waving of the lawyers,” and they won.

    being a “native practitioner” conveniently allows landis protection from most persecution if his “native medicine” fails to give the promised results, thanks to his misuse of the Federal Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act of 1993 (NAFERA) as a legal shield. the woo’s gotten legally smarter in this case, which is such a bad thing.

    here’s another very good blog summary of the nemenhah/faux-mormon/faux-native situation:

    http://www.computernewbie.info/wheatdogg/2009/05/11/a-sad-curious-tale-of-rampant-duplicity-and-stupidity/

    so this case is about more than freedom of religion, native rights, the rights of minors and parents, medical ethics, and alternative medicine.

    it’s also about fraud, legal dodges, and multilevel marketing schemes.

    so, if the hausers were convinced by a fraudulent white mormon “native healer” that the “native herbs” and other “cures”, which the nemenhah conveniently sell in a MLM type scheme, really were cures for their son, then i see them as victims of a scam, at least in part.

    it remains unclear how much of their “religious” objection was caused by mrs. colleen hauser watching her sister die after suffering through horrendous chemo and then seeing daniel have a hard time with his first chemo course, as orac commented on.

    what seems beyond doubt, is that this family understands very little about science and medicine in general (the mother thinks x-rays of her kid’s chest revealing a mass are somehow “wrong” for starters). and the fact that the 13-year-old can’t even read (revealed in the court case) makes me assume there’s a lot he doesn’t know/hasn’t been taught. someone like daniel, without any real knowledge of the medical reality of his condition, really can’t give “informed consent” for or against conventional treatment of his cancer. the judge was absolutely right in this decision.

  35. #35 luna1580
    May 16, 2009

    oh, there is a poll about parental rights in medical cases too, at the “public contributor” branch of msnbc:

    http://www.newsvine.com/_question/2009/05/15/2822182-should-parents-be-allowed-to-refuse-cancer-treatments-for-their-sick-children

  36. #36 luna1580
    May 16, 2009

    i submitted a comment giving further details on the “nemenhah” element of this case before my comment #34, and was told it’s being held for blog owner approval. i’m assuming this is an anti-spam measure, as it contained 3 links. if so, sorry orac, i’m new here (obviously) but i do hope you approve it for those who are curious about the details of this family’s “native faith.”

  37. #37 Alan Kellogg
    May 16, 2009

    Even without the cancer Master Hauser was still be in need of a massive intervention. He and his parents are the victims of medical abuse, and a massive medical fraud, caused by people who hold to a belief system that insists certain things about his mental disabilities have to be true, and that to raise the possibility they may not be is a crime against the gods of mental health.

    Since learning that I am autistic I have been running into people who insist that only a properly trained individual can diagnose autism in any form. They refuse to recognize that someone like me can and will recognize autistic traits in themselves. Then they cling to mistakes made in the past regarding what autistic persons are like. Very often conflating the various form autism takes, not understanding that at present autism is a catch-all term for a number of conditions in which the patient has trouble dealing with and understanding the world the way a mundane does.

    Thus we get Daniel Hauser and his parents; victims of misunderstanding, malunderstanding, and outright lies. A child who’s case has been poorly handled from the beginning, and who will be suffering from his treatment until the day he dies.

    Mom had her flaws. Mom was also a tough old bitch when pushed hard. When I was 13 I could read at the college level, and when I was 13 reading at the college level took application and perseverance. Had Mrs. Hauser been my mom instead, I doubt I’d be able to figure out a stop sign.

  38. #38 Donna B.
    May 16, 2009

    hmmm… so many comments I feel the need to respond to! First – NSMLC is, if I understand correctly, treated today with either surgery or radiation. I get this understanding from my father having been diagnosed with it within the past month. Due to his age (86) he chose radiation over surgery.

    The diagnosis of autism has been so drastically expanded that I think my head injured son would qualify. Yet, no matter how much I, or others, tried to teach him to read or write, he finally learned on his own later. Autism is not always the cause of learning disabilities… or have I missed a memo?

    My first experience with cancer was in the mid-60s when a beloved neighbor needed help with her morphine injections and other other household needs. My 2nd experience with cancer came with the death of my sister’s first husband. He was the 4th of 5 siblings to die of cancer before the 30th birthday. His parents grieving, I cannot comprehend. Since then, I’ve dealt with the sudden death of one step-mother from what sounded to me like an allergic reaction to chemotherapy — sudden death after one treatment and the slowly painful death of another stepmother from lung cancer after all treatment options were tried.

    With my second stepmother, we tried everything that money could buy. The only thing that eased her pain was a steady dose of methadone punctuated by morphine. That… and someone lying in bed beside her providing warmth that her emaciated body could no longer provide. The cancer had invaded her brain by this time and we would sometimes be her mother, sometimes her daughter, sometimes her first husband… whoever she needed us to be at the time.

    Though I’m not a faithful or religious person, I find great comfort in the dignity of humans… in their ability to transcend sheer earthly comforts. My stepmother taught me so much about love after her mind had ceased to function at her control.

    Though I know many commenters here are doctors, how many of you have given 24 hour care to a cancer patient or a head-injured patient? The views and opinions of many seem so shallow to me.

  39. #39 The Perky Skeptic
    May 16, 2009

    Alan, I love reading your comments, but I really wish you wouldn’t call neurotypicals “mundanes.” I find it offensive, and so does probably everyone ever had their life and individuality so trivialized. I have never met a human being I would characterize as mundane, because everybody is a different flavor, color and spin of crazy if you look hard enough.

    Then again, this is the internet, and there’s no law against offending people. ;)

    I’m an Aspie, by the way, and the mother of an ASD kid.

  40. #40 Skemono
    May 16, 2009

    Alan, I love reading your comments, but I really wish you wouldn’t call neurotypicals “mundanes.” I find it offensive, and so does probably everyone ever had their life and individuality so trivialized.

    It just makes me think I’m in the comic book Fables.

  41. #41 Nurse K
    May 16, 2009

    A flock of my ex-husband’s cousins are home-schooled, and the 14-year-old reads far worse than my son (7 at the time). I would estimate that he read at a See Jane Run level.

    The 7-year-old can only count up to 15 (she was proud to do this at a family gathering) and can’t read. The parents did not allow them to go to regular school, pulling the two oldest ones out when the school said they needed special ed and then never allowing the other two younger ones to start either. I think every relative has called CPS on them, and nothing has happened. I can’t believe that all of them (4) are “retarded”.

  42. #42 luna1580
    May 17, 2009

    as has been noted in these comments before, we do not know for a fact that daniel hauser has been home-schooled (or if his 7 siblings may have been).

    the fact that court documents reveal he cannot read, and his mother “talks for him with doctors,” could mean any number of things, but it certainly reveals that he is ill informed about the medical reality of his lymphoma. but that is all. google “daniel hauser’s testimony” to find the actual court transcripts in pdf form, and decide from there for yourselves. yeah, it reveals he can’t even read his “own” affidavit back to the judge, at which point his mother asked that he leave the courtroom so she could “explain”…

  43. #43 Alan Kellogg
    May 17, 2009

    Perky Skeptic,

    Mundane.
    :P

  44. #44 Chris
    May 17, 2009

    “Mundane”, I was thinking of Mundania from Piers Anthony’s Xantha series. I’m good with that.

    Though, I do appreciate that my world has been expanded by having a child with issues that made me look beyond my safe boundaries. This means I would not judge Master Hauser’s lack of reading, but I am more concerned with those who feel his life is less valuable.

  45. #45 HJ
    May 17, 2009

    Orac, this is the difference between rational minded people and believers, your position changed according to the evidence, but no kind of evidence will change a believer.

  46. #46 HJ
    May 17, 2009

    That child can’t read?
    Are we in the real world here?

    A child who cannot read, at the age of 13, is already in danger.
    They don’t need to have superstitious parents to be in trouble, they will fail at life.

    They don’t even need to be bullied, they will just never grow.

    Seriously? Cannot read at age 13? WTF are the parents doing about it?

  47. #47 k
    May 17, 2009

    Chemo is a killer—it is not a cure! If anyone knows anything about the human body and the way to cure and heal it then you would know that applying levels of radiation is not the answer. You do not kill the dog slowly to kill the flea on its back. Wake up people! Our health care industry has turned into another greed stricken–self-centered corporation with only one thing in mind—and it isn’t you or your family! I have worked with and seen many children who were left to die in nursing homes removed and healed through alternative medicine who are now waling, talking , feeding themselves and attending college—with NO thanks to the doctors of today! We are on our own and as soon as we start taking responsibility for our lives again the sooner we will get out from under all these corporations who think they own us! My hats off to Daniel and his family and anyone else who is willing to fight for their lives! Thank you attorney Calvin Johnson!

  48. #48 dave S
    May 17, 2009

    Hey K,

    I’m glad chemo is a killer… I had cisplatin and it killed my stage 2 testicular cancer in 1995.

    That’s not why I’m writing. While I agree with the judge (and most commentators), I am a bit alarmed that no one is even considering the power of the state versus the individual. In individual, I’m not referring to this impaired child, but rather the parent. We seem very quick to jump to the side of the state. It might be a moot abstract argument, but what are the state’s limits. Should the state have the power to interfere between parent and child, no matter how dumb we consider the parent’s decision. Should the state be allowed to cure all stupidity?

    Please don’t jump all over me, it’s my libertarian side speaking.

  49. #49 storkdok
    May 17, 2009

    @Donna B. “Though I know many commenters here are doctors, how many of you have given 24 hour care to a cancer patient or a head-injured patient? The views and opinions of many seem so shallow to me.”

    I have. I have cared for them for up to 3 months straight with only 6 hours off every other night.

    What is it you consider shallow? That many of us want to see a boy have a chance to live?

  50. #50 k
    May 17, 2009

    Dave,
    I agree that we should not give over our rights to the state when it comes to ourselves and our children. Our children are not owned by anyone–this includes us and the state. They are individuals who up to a certain age need loving support of their parents. Parents usually have a better feel what is best for their children–not someone who sees them for an hour and diagnosis that this is the best treatment for them. We are all different and our bodies are all different—we are all individualized cases and cannot be treated as standard practice for receving the benefits of any type of health care.
    My friend has been living with bone and blood cancer for 16 years and has not done chemotherapy in the last 10. She has eliminated 95% of her medications and credits her organic diet and herbal supplements to her success. Another friend of mine who was diagnosed with lymphoma was given three weeks to live—–that was 12 years ago. If she had listened to her doctors she would be dead. She wrote a book “From Pawns to Kings”—talks about her experience and what she learned about nutrition and diet and cancer. By the way lymphoma is not killed the same way testicular cancer is when using chemo. Lymphoma would best be addressed by fresh garlic, turmeric, elderberry and organic soups made by an experienced nutritionist. Herbs such as calendula, cleavers and red clover would also help. A lymphatic drainage massage and acupuncture to release blocked energy meridians would do a world of wonders. The body has the ability to heal itself with the right guidance. Disease is just that dis-ease–the body is not at ease. When we remove those uneasy blockages we experience optimum health. We need to step up to the plate and start realizing that if it is not feeding our soul it is not serving our lives. This goes for everything.
    K

  51. #51 happeh
    May 17, 2009

    Orac – “In the meantime, a flock of “alternative medicine” boosters have descended upon the comments of my previous post, complete with testimonials and rants against the state.”

    Imagine that. Orac writes a blog in which he attacks alternative medicine people on a daily basis, then he is suprised when those alternative medicine people show up with comments.

    Sometimes I wonder about the dictum that “scientists are smart”.
    ————–

    The only thing this ruling proves is that your children belong to the state. The state can order your child injected with any drug. The state can order a doctor to cut pieces off of your child. The state can kidnap your child and sexually abuse it under cover of “checking for child abuse”.

    Just imagine what it must have been like for those girls at that commune who were kidnapped by the state and then “examined for sexual abuse”.

    What that means in plain english is that strange men kidnapped young females from their families, then visually inspected and palpated the vagina of each and every one of those young girls.

    Keep telling yourself this is about medicine. It is about someone else taking control of your children, your wife, your husband, or anyone else you care for, and forcing their beliefs on them.

  52. #52 kemalercan
    May 17, 2009

    all people have right to refuse therapy , but just himself

  53. #53 Caravelle
    May 17, 2009

    I am a bit alarmed that no one is even considering the power of the state versus the individual. In individual, I’m not referring to this impaired child, but rather the parent. We seem very quick to jump to the side of the state. It might be a moot abstract argument, but what are the state’s limits. Should the state have the power to interfere between parent and child, no matter how dumb we consider the parent’s decision.

    There’s definitely arguments to be had on how much the state can interfere in how parents bring up their children, but surely *when the child’s life is at stake* should be one case where it can.

    Children aren’t offshoots of their parents, they’re human beings who have a right not to be killed, same as anyone.

  54. #54 Daniel J. Andrews
    May 17, 2009

    Happeh…you have already demonstrated a number of times you don’t know what you are talking about. So you know that strange men kidnapped those females and then checked them for sexual abuse? Really now. You’re as out of touch with criteria for checking sexual abuse as you are for general scientific and critical thinking.

    If you have a good point you do not need to exaggerate and make things up to support that point, whether it be a conspiracy cover-up theory that (temporarily) got Randi’s youtube videos off the net, or strange men probing girl and teen vaginas. You just end up discrediting yourself (i.e. you are not a reliable source of information) and your stand (even if it happens to be a reasonable stand to take).

  55. #55 Caravelle
    May 17, 2009

    they’re human beings

    I should have said “people” here, someone’s personhood is more relevant to my argument than their species.

  56. #56 Mu
    May 17, 2009

    k – living proof that neuralizers do have side effects

  57. #57 The Perky Skeptic
    May 17, 2009

    @Alan Kellogg, #43–

    LOL!!! I was begging for that, wasn’t I.

  58. #58 k
    May 17, 2009

    Mu

    I don’t know the Men in Black.
    K

  59. #59 Orac
    May 17, 2009

    Imagine that. Orac writes a blog in which he attacks alternative
    medicine people on a daily basis, then he is suprised when those
    alternative medicine people show up with comments.

    I’m not surprised. I’m amused. Happeh, if you think you’re the first credulous troll to have descended upon this blog all annoyed at me or that this latest infestation of “natural cancer cure” woos is anything unprecedented, you are indeed as ignorant as you are obsessed with wanking. I’ve maintained this blog for over four years, and these things come and go in waves. As to what provoked the current wave of alties, my guess is that someone posted a link to one or more of my posts on this topic to an alt-med discussion board, and the vague and unconvincing testimonials have begun to flow.

    In any case, moving on to other commenters re: the power of the state. I agree that the state shouldn’t have absolute power, but in the U.S. far too many parents seem to think that they should have absolute power over their children. That attitude of “it’s my child and no one can tell me how to raise him” often comes out in cases like this. I can understand and sympathize up to a point, and that point is when the life of the child is at stake and a parent’s “raising the child how she sees fit” is actively endangering the life of the child, as it is in Daniel’s case. I would also extend that to when the parents’ actions are likely to cause the child serious harm. In such cases, parents either need to shape up or forfeit their parental rights. Yes, there are gray areas, but the Hauser case is not a case with a lot of gray areas in it.

  60. #60 Mamabadger
    May 17, 2009

    What bothers me most about this case is the way people, journalists and laymen alike, react to it. People are having far too much fun ridiculing Daniel, his “moron” parents and their “idiotic” ideas about health care. Yes, the judge made the only possible decision, but it is not an entirely happy conclusion. A boy is going to be forced to go through a very unpleasant and traumatic series of medical treatments against his will, possible by physical force. His right and his family’s right to make their own health care decisions has been taken from them by the state. This is not a good thing, much less something to be sneered at, just because you might have a low opinion of their beliefs.
    As one previous comment said:

    “Someone really needs to try to get through to the mom and get some sense of where she’s coming from, and get her on board. If she can reach the point where she’s OK with having him treated, then I have a feeling that Daniel will be reasonably OK with it too. I feel there is more to this case than what the media has been able to portray. We’d all like for it to be a simple, open and closed case… and it isn’t.”

    None of this can happen as long as we regard anyone with eccentric ideas as sub-human and unworthy of respect or dignity, which is the attitude I keep running into.

    On the subject of Daniel’s illiteracy, my husband volunteered for years with an adult literacy programme. All his non-reading, adult clients had attended high school, and most of them had graduated. School is no guarantee of literacy, and illiteracy does not prove neglect.

  61. #61 luna1580
    May 17, 2009

    Mamabadger-

    illiteracy doesn’t prove neglect, you’re right.

    but in this case, daniel’s illiteracy combined with statements in the hearing that he had personally never asked his doctors any questions about his cancer or his care, that his mother literally speaks for him in doctor’s offices, and that all of his knowledge of if his “natural treatments” could work came from his mother and her friends (who got it from the internet and the nemenhah), is an absolute indicator that he was ill-equipped to understand what was happening to him. and the illiteracy means that even if he had wanted to learn about his cancer/treatments online or in books he couldn’t. he was left at the absolute mercy of the information his mother wanted him to know, and he couldn’t know if that knowledge might be faulty.

    people will argue that parents should choose what their children learn. but even if that is true, the issue of parents choosing to let their children die when they could live should be a separate argument.

  62. #62 Heather
    May 17, 2009

    Orac,

    At what point do you feel that parents should be able to choose not to give their premature baby medical care that would most certainly save the baby’s life…but saving the baby’s life may result in the parents having the financial and emotional burden of raising a child that (according to some studies, at least) is more likely than not going to have at least some form of disability? At what point do the rights of the child outweigh the rights of the parent to make decisions for their child? From a medical standpoint, is there an ethical guideline?

  63. #63 JennyJo
    May 17, 2009

    @ Mamabadger,

    You say:

    “A boy is going to be forced to go through a very unpleasant and traumatic series of medical treatments against his will, possible by physical force. His right and his family’s right to make their own health care decisions has been taken from them by the state.”
    Have you considered what his life and death will be like when he will not be treated conventionally? Dying of cancer is a horrible thing. And Daniel Hauser’s dying of cancer is preventable.

    “His right and his family’s right to make their own health care decisions has been taken from them by the state.” Their choice implies the death of their child. Do you really feel that the right of free (health) is more important than the right to live? By the exertion of their right of free health choice the parents destroy their son’s right to life. How can that be right?

  64. #64 Anne
    May 17, 2009

    Judge Rodenberg did consider the ability of the state to intrude on rights of the parents in his decision. He said that the parents had a constitutional right to direct the religious and other upbringing of their child. Legally, the state can interfere with constitutional rights only if there is a compelling state interest in doing so, and then it must be done using the least restrictive means. This is basic constitutional law, which was applied by the judge in this case.

    The judge considered whether there was a compelling state interest: “Brown County has demonstrated a compelling state interest in seeing to it that Daniel’s prospects for life are maximized by his being found in need of protection or services.”

    He then attempted to use the least restrictive means in interefering with Daniel’s and his parents’ rights by providing that he would “leave Daniel in the custody of his parents and to allow the parents the maximum legally-permissible range of choices for treatment of Daniel.”

    The rights of parents to control the upbringing of their kids is an important one, but it isn’t absolute.

    Regarding the home-schooling issue, it appears in Daniel’s testimony that he never went to school except for a few weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer. Up to then, he didn’t go. Whether he was actually home-schooled, as opposed to just kept out of school, is unclear.

  65. #65 goatgirl
    May 17, 2009

    @ Anne: Some of the news stories I’ve read in the local papers indicate that some or all of the Hauser children received some home schooling for at least part of their education.

    In MN, it is legal to home-school your children. They do have to register with their local school district, however. And if the parents are the teachers and do not have college degrees, they’re required to submit their curriculum to the local school district to ensure it’s adequate. Truancy is against the law, as I imagine it would be in basically every other state.

    I’m not sure why people are belaboring this child’s inability to read. Based on everything I’ve read about this case and based on the actual transcripts, this doesn’t appear to be simple illiteracy or the alleged fault of home schooling or some flaw in his upbringing. As near as I can tell, it is a physical or brain-based disability. In other words, he can’t help it. In fact, in just 13 short years on this earth, this kid has faced some mega-challenges and I have to say my heart goes out to him.

    In view of the scorn and judgment being heaped on this family, I don’t know why any of us should be surprised that they’re fearful and distrustful of the medical system.

  66. #66 mertle
    May 17, 2009

    Well, hello. I wrote on the first story about this, which will no longer come up.
    I was healed of invasive breast cancer, a 9mm tumor, described as grade 1 and 2, both in situ and not. We moved, and my papers are lost at sea, or I’d be more specific.
    My biopsy, which I regret having done, was a needle biopsy.
    After doing herbs and diet, a healing plan from an Amish healer, my CA 27 29 blood test was normal, the mammogram was normal, and the ultrasound was normal.
    My site is http://healingplan.synthasite.com
    no selling there, whatsoever, so please don’t say I’m soliciting biz.
    The whole thing is this: the healing plans which have testimonials from real people who found themselves actually healed from even late stages of cancer…that is what someone looking for healing can delve into and decide on the veracity of the testimonies, double-check what they did, add some more healthy ideas, and go from there. Going healthy with a proven (by testimonies) plan is what heals. Chemo/radiation poisons our bodies…don’t we all know it. It has a 100% death rate…eventually, if not right away.
    Our doctors think we should follow their book knowledge and worship their decisions about our bodies. No thank you. God is still God, and He has healing in His wings, the Bible sez.
    Some of us have found that healing. Some follow the death trail of poisons. We all have a choice.
    Go ahead and pulverize this intellectually…I could do that with your response, also…but God has better things for our minds to accomplish, if we are interested.
    With Daniel, I hope they have an actual healing plan in mind, one that has healed others, and will implement that.
    Chemo poison is crazy…like curing a mouse of illness with an oversize shoe…you poison the whole body/system to kill a few cells. Insane. The emperors “healing plan”…right.
    If you want healing, it’s here for you. If you want to intellectualize and attempt demolition of the actual healing testimonies that are available on the ‘Net…be my guest.
    Anyone can practice verbosity with a variety of vocabulary and sound so intelligent! But, have you offered someone healing, that will make them even healthier than ever, and help them live 20-30 years after cancer? If not, kindly take your seat. Thank you. May the ones who have taken in natural cures, and lived for decades longer, stand and speak.
    Blessings and healing to all.

  67. #67 Dawn
    May 17, 2009

    @mertie: Obviously you don’t really know WHAT your diagnosis was. And you don’t know what tests really check for breast cancer. Don’t come to a breast cancer surgeon’s blog and push your website about natural healing. You may keep your beliefs in religion and “natural remedies”. By the way…apricot pits???? Talk about chemotherapy!

  68. #68 Michael Simpson
    May 17, 2009

    Mertle…was that published anywhere? I thought not. Let me put this bluntly. I don’t believe you. But good luck in your delusions.

  69. #69 Dianne
    May 17, 2009

    But, have you offered someone healing, that will make them even healthier than ever, and help them live 20-30 years after cancer?

    The 25 year survival rate for children diagnosed with HL is well over 80%. It’s probably higher for people diagnosed today–these numbers obviously rely at least partially on data derived from patients diagnosed 25+ years ago*. So chemo certainly does help people live 20-30 years after cancer. Whether it makes them healthier than ever…well, it certainly makes them healthier than they were when they had cancer. It doesn’t correct the underlying damage (i.e. field carcinogenesis in a smoker, BRCA-1 mutation, etc) but what does? Certainly not any alternative medicine.

    This is the second person I’ve seen in discussions of this case who seemed to be under the impression that 5 year cancer survivors dropped dead the minute the 5 year clock ran out. It must be time to start publishing 25 year follow up routinely. And, yes, there are plenty of 25 year survivors to follow.

    *Yes, this statistic is published and I will provide a link if anyone’s interested.

  70. #70 Melody
    May 17, 2009

    This is the second person I’ve seen in discussions of this case who seemed to be under the impression that 5 year cancer survivors dropped dead the minute the 5 year clock ran out. It must be time to start publishing 25 year follow up routinely. And, yes, there are plenty of 25 year survivors to follow.

    I know. My uncle was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in the 60s or 70s around my age, and I think the 5-year survival rate was more like 40% or 60% (rather than about 90% like today), yet he’s still here today and has a job and doing well. Occasionally has memory lapses (we found out when asking if he fed our dog on vacation and he completely forgot so we got my sister to go feed her and get water and stuff), but those are rare, and otherwise his health is pretty much in the typical – good range for someone in middle age.

  71. #71 mertle
    May 17, 2009

    Your responses, refusing to check the testimonies that are out there, and denying my diagnosis, made at a well-known hospital here…what else did I need to remember, except that it was a 9 mm tumor, and invasive breast cancer? how much more does one need to know than that?
    And “don’t come to a breast surgeon’s blog…?” freedom of speech my dear, you have no right to deny it. I have plenty of veterans in my family who gave their all for it. If you are confident in your knowledge, you can have a positive attitude in your responses, right?
    Clear tests are not a delusion. “Pushing” my website? it’s free to read and free to all to enjoy.
    You sound as tho’ you may be in need of colon cleansing. Your bitterness and anger may be partly a result of toxins clogging your colon. I know I was on cloud nine, cleansing.
    Are you ever happy? Jesus can help, He is a mighty Savior and mighty in love, believe me, He loved me before I even cared about Him. God is love, the Scriptures say.I John 4:8. We love him because he first loved us, I John 4:19.
    Keep my religion, well, the day He reached down and saved me, my religion left me, and salvation was mine for eternity.
    No religion here, sorry you thought so. Nope, it’s all my Lord and Savior and His wonderful uplifting Word.
    Nobody loves us like His amazing love!!!
    Love you guys,
    Get cleansing soon,smile
    Marilyn

  72. #72 mrcreosote
    May 17, 2009

    interesting that this study was released in the last couple of days

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150176.php

    “Taking ginger supplements with standard anti-vomiting drugs beforehand can reduce the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy treatment by 40 per cent according to a new US study.”

  73. #73 Robster, FCD
    May 17, 2009

    mrcreosote,

    That isn’t that much of a surprise (good for seasickness, too), and if there is a confirmatory story, it could easily enter into real medicine from the realm of fake, I mean alternative medicine.

    —–

    Mertle,

    We have no reason to trust you. You have made claims but thats it. If you have evidence, though, and not just undocumented testimonials, that would be useful.

    I do find it interesting that you offer so much Christian faith, but if Jesus offers healing, how does this connect with a disavowed spinter sect from the Mormon church, which appropriates Native American religious practices in order to find a flaky religious excuse to defraud people with false hope?

    Or is this one of those mysterious ways I keep hearing about?

  74. #74 Dangerous Bacon
    May 17, 2009

    I want to know how mertie’s papers were “lost at sea”. That has a nostalgic air to it.

    Though it’s sad to think of the critical data for a cancer cure, being food for some flounder. :(

  75. #75 Dr. P
    May 17, 2009

    Get cleansing soon,smile
    Marilyn

    Though I know many commenters here are doctors, how many of you have given 24 hour care to a cancer patient or a head-injured patient? The views and opinions of many seem so shallow to me— This is personally the most smug, self righteous tripe I’ve seen this week;most physicians and scientists do actually have a network of family and friends and deal with these issues in their own lives as does anyone else in the population, apart from the obvious example of residency which involves….being around for the 24 hour care of all types of trgedy striken people, including brain injured and cancer patients.Don’t assume the water is shallow without paying attention to all posters, otherwise you’ll find yourself in over your head.

  76. #76 Dr. P
    May 17, 2009

    Though I know many commenters here are doctors, how many of you have given 24 hour care to a cancer patient or a head-injured patient? The views and opinions of many seem so shallow to me

    the post at # 75 addresses this comment…murdered my response…

  77. #77 Mamabadger
    May 17, 2009

    @ JennyJo

    [quote]“Have you considered what his life and death will be like when he will not be treated conventionally? Dying of cancer is a horrible thing. And Daniel Hauser’s dying of cancer is preventable.
    Their choice implies the death of their child. Do you really feel that the right of free (health) is more important than the right to live? By the exertion of their right of free health choice the parents destroy their son’s right to life. How can that be right?”
    [/quote]

    I agree, and I started by saying the judge made the right decision, the only possible decision. My objection was to the harsh, contemptuous attitude so many people held toward the Hausers, including Daniel. This is not an unqualified win for anybody. A boy is going to be forced to accept treatment he believes will harm or kill him. The difficulty of going through chemotherapy will be multiplied by fear, and made more difficult by being forced into unwanted treatment by state authorities. Even if we do not agree with the Hausers’ thinking, that should arouse sympathy, not ridicule. We all have medical treatments we would refuse under certain circumstances, and any of us could, in theory, end up in Daniel’s situation. Have some compassion!

  78. #78 Dr. P
    May 17, 2009

    my response to # 66 was that I’d never seen this new and fresh approach to internet discussion—you know the poorly detailed anecdotal tale being given equal weight with peer reviewed evidence, the accepatnce of every web story as fact because it was stated to be personal and can’t be corroborated—given this novel method of debate and discourse, I’m inclined to be on board—seriously, I will recommend that all of my patients stop whatever they are doing and check out your website; they can thank me later.This was the purpose of your post, right?Well done. To be more serious, however, I find it more than a little offensive that a few stories make experts of any one with a computer and that the whole of medicine “just doesn’t understand”. I’m probably more open minded than you would believe; but do you ever stop to consider that as a physician I’m at least partly responsible for the health and well being of thousands of patients that happen to mean a lot to me; I don’t just care for them I’m to have the compassion for them that I would have for my own family if I’m doing my job well.I take this job seriously;now I’m being told that I’m supposed to hand them over to the whims of every crackpot on the internet without benefit of evidence. Consider carefully what you ask before asking, because I’m sure you’ll realize it’s a ridiculous suggestion.

  79. #79 Dianne
    May 17, 2009

    mrcre: Interesting finding, but by no means uncontroversial. A previously published trial found no benefit. This was also a phase II trial and could easily miss a minor improvement. But don’t expect ginger to replace Kytril any time soon.

  80. #80 anjou
    May 17, 2009

    Mertle– you might find this interesting regarding the problems with testimonials, in fairly plain and simple language:
    http://www.lymphomation.org/Testimonials.pdf

  81. #81 Aftercancer
    May 17, 2009

    The more I learn about this case the sicker I get. He’s a
    “home schooled” 13 year old who can’t read which either means that he has significant developmental issues or his mother has much bigger issues that we will ever understand. BTW, not that it anyone’s business but has there been any word about this boys father?

  82. #82 mrcreosote
    May 18, 2009

    @dianne

    The study was not studying/suggesting replacement, but as a supplement in addition to standard anti-nausea drugs

  83. #83 Michael Simpson
    May 18, 2009

    @ anjou #80

    Thanks, that was a great little find for future reference. I always get a kick out of the great Big Pharma conspiracy against the world. In this world of cell phones, digital cameras, blogs, and gossip, the probability of a vast worldwide conspiracy on anything is approximately zero. Also, I’m fairly certain that not a single pharmaceutical company has a magical test for to exclude ethical employees.

    The other thing that drives me crazy about these testimonials and such is that physicians, Big Pharma, and every honest healthcare worker provides the benefits and risks of any medical procedure, especially in oncology. Note that every single Woomeister never mentions risks. They’re all perfect!!!!

    No wonder the parents of Daniel are confused.

  84. #84 JennyJo
    May 18, 2009

    @ mamabadger,

    I do have compassion and I can understand the fear of harsh treatments very well. I just find it very hard to accept that a child should die when it could live. Putting off the harsh treatments now will not spare him any misery but wil only postpone it, for his death may be even more miserable than the treatments they are so afraid of now. I hope the parents will get help and support in acknowledging this and will also get help in supporting their son while he undergoes his treatments.

  85. #85 Chris
    May 18, 2009

    mertle, the plural of anecdote is not data. Also, you seem to be changing your story on which magic herbal worked. Add that to the “lost at sea” bit, and you are really stretching the credibility rope!

  86. #86 DLC
    May 18, 2009

    I’m tired so I’m gonna keep it short and simple.
    No parents have the right to abuse their children.
    Government must step in if the child’s welfare is at stake.
    At 13, this child does not have the mental toolkit to make qualified, informed health choices.

    For the Altie-Trolls: Your personal stories are touching, but I won’t say where it’s touching or what. However real or unreal it is, your anecdote does not trump actual data.
    Hundreds of people report seeing “ufos” too, but until one lands on the white house lawn that’s all they are is stories. Please go and read some Carl Sagan.

  87. #87 Richard Eis
    May 18, 2009

    Mertle – it has a 100% death rate…eventually if not right away.

    Yes dear, living is terminal.

  88. #88 Dawn
    May 18, 2009

    @myrtle: Thank you VERY much for the early morning giggles. Your response made me laugh and really brightened up a Monday morning.

    To respond to your claims:

    Your responses, refusing to check the testimonies that are out there, and denying my diagnosis, made at a well-known hospital here…what else did I need to remember, except that it was a 9 mm tumor, and invasive breast cancer? how much more does one need to know than that?
    I read your blog site. I’m not denying your diagnosis. But you said it was both invasive and noninvasive, stage 1 and stage 2. It can’t be both.

    And “don’t come to a breast surgeon’s blog…?” freedom of speech my dear, you have no right to deny it. I have plenty of veterans in my family who gave their all for it. If you are confident in your knowledge, you can have a positive attitude in your responses, right?
    Certainly you have freedom of speech. But don’t be surprised if the logical ones here who know medical information mock your willful errors.

    Clear tests are not a delusion. “Pushing” my website? it’s free to read and free to all to enjoy.
    Sure it’s free to read. But linking to it in a comment is a blatent push.

    You sound as tho’ you may be in need of colon cleansing. Your bitterness and anger may be partly a result of toxins clogging your colon. I know I was on cloud nine, cleansing.
    COLON CLEANSING??? Oh joy. You are SO funny. Sorry. Don’t believe in that stuff. I’ve given enough enemas in my time to know what’s in a colon.

    Are you ever happy? Jesus can help, He is a mighty Savior and mighty in love, believe me, He loved me before I even cared about Him. God is love, the Scriptures say.I John 4:8. We love him because he first loved us, I John 4:19.
    Keep my religion, well, the day He reached down and saved me, my religion left me, and salvation was mine for eternity.
    I am usually very happy. Jesus, whom I don’t believe in, never helped my mood when I did believe, and I’m no different a person now than I was when I thought I believed. Actually, strike that. I’m MUCH happier now that I’m not fearing dying in the future.

    No religion here, sorry you thought so. Nope, it’s all my Lord and Savior and His wonderful uplifting Word.
    Nobody loves us like His amazing love!!!
    Love you guys,
    Get cleansing soon,smile
    Marilyn
    Sorry. A belief in any god is a religion. I’ll pass on the cleansing and the beliefs and continue my happy healthy way through life.

    I’m happy for you that you are cancer free. I would not wish cancer on anyone. I am very thankful for those in my family who have undergone cancer treatment and lived for us to continue to love them.

  89. #89 Luna_the_cat
    May 18, 2009

    mertle @#66:
    “…a healing plan from an Amish healer…”

    That, of all your nonsense, made me at least laugh. The Amish use hospitals, the same doctors as the rest of us, and modern medicine.

    Incidentally, God was around to heal people of cancer for, presumably, many centuries; and yet, even in the most profoundly religious of communities, cancer morbidity remained unchanged right up to the point that modern treatments of surgery, radiotherapy and chemo became available. Odd, how even when herbs and faith in God were just about the ONLY available treatments and everyone believed most profoundly, people kept on dying, but all of a sudden survival rates shoot right up with modern chemo. Very odd. Hmm.

  90. #90 Calli Arcale
    May 18, 2009

    Many people refuse medical care, trusting in the Lord to heal them. They want it easy. But is it right to expect the Lord to help someone who can’t be bothered to help themselves?

    Time for an old fable:

    ———————-
    A fervently religious couple lived alone in their farmhouse. One spring, the floods were particularly bad, and the water began to approach. A man with an ATV knocked on their door and told them that the county was evacuating. They declined to leave. “The Lord will save us,” they said.

    The waters continued to rise. Soon, the water reached their house, and they were forced to move to the second story. A man in an airboat came by and offered to take them to safety. They declined. “The Lord will save us,” they said.

    The waters continued to rise. Soon, the water rose above the second story and they had to move to the roof. A helicopter came by, and a man dropped a rope ladder to them. They waved him off, saying “The Lord will save us.”

    The waters continued to rise. The foundations of their house were undermined, and it washed away. They drowned.

    Soon, they were in Heaven. They asked to speak to God.

    God asked, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE SO SOON?”

    “The floodwaters came, and we had faith, but you did not save us. Why?”

    God replied, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I SENT AN ATV, A BOAT, AND A HELICOPTER. WHY DIDN’T YOU GO?”

    ———————-

    People sometimes put their trust in the Lord to magically make their problems disappear. But very often, there are solutions to their problems right there, close at hand, but they will not take them. They’d rather be saved by magic than by worldly means. And they *think* this means they have faith. But it doesn’t. They have a faith which can only be satisfied with miracles, and so they eagerly test God, asking for the impossible, since they apparently cannot see God in the possible.

  91. #91 merlte
    May 18, 2009

    I’m sorry disbelief in God and His goodness and His power in healing is so prevalent here. I leave you, sadly, to your batting down of any suggestion to the contrary.
    I was a 3.9 GPA in high school, and a B.A. grad. My bro. is an atty, and etc, going thru the family achievements.
    However, my greatest intellectual accomplishment, was realizing Jesus died for my sin on a terrible cross, willingly, to save me and set me free from my sin. Amazingly, the fear of death that petrified me on many occasions, was completely gone, then. I had to face the KKK, gangsters and more, to save my mixed offspring from death and destruction. But God…gave me the strength and confidence to stand between them and death many times.
    It was a delight to discover this same great God, has healing in nature to heal us of our complicated diseases from our toxic environment and altered “foods”. How merciful! How wonderful! What love.
    And even in the case of people born without arms and legs, I’ve seen Him give grace to them, and glorify His Name thru their love and faith in Him, and the talents they have are incredible, altho’ unsought and unacknowledged largely.
    Years ago, I was a mini-skirt wearing cursing little working mom with kids languishing in daycare.
    After I repented of my sin and pleaded with Him to save me, and He did….God led me to homeschool, leading to children who outscored most of the nation pretty consistently. God is great. And they are all achieving young adults, in different fields of venture and adventure, by His grace.
    The Amish I know use mostly herbs. You may know a different group of folks.
    Herbs to me are way beyond magic…they’re amazing! While man’s meds help one thing and hurt other things…God’s herbs help one thing and several other things, too!
    Let me quickly say, our trauma doctors fit the Biblical definition of physician…to heal, to cure, to make whole, to mend by stitching. We do have doctors who seek to do all of that.
    In other arenas of medicine, we find hopelessness and despair, apart from God’s herbs/diet.
    When you get sick, go for the best, go for God’s great healing! Don’t settle for less. You are worth it, He created those things for you in your time of need.
    God bless you and keep you all.
    Mertle

  92. #92 Chris
    May 18, 2009

    Mertle, you seem to keep changing your story, again.

    For declaring you grade point average and the fact that you did get a BA, you have a juvenile style of writing and argument.

    You wrote that there was a proven plan to cure cancer, yet have failed to provided the actual evidence. In fact you have mentioned several disparate ideas from Essiac to Amish (!) and now religion. Plus you cannot even remember or be consistent on your diagnosis, claiming that your records were “lost at sea”, which is much like the “dog ate my homework” plea.

    Mertle, you have absolutely no credibility.

  93. #93 catgirl
    May 18, 2009

    goatgirl,
    Thanks for your thorough explanation of this child’s inability to read. This really does change my opinion of the case. For an average 13 year-old, I might support the court letting him make his own medical decisions. But for a child with a learning disability, it is clear that he truly does not understand his disease, and is not capable of making an informed decision. I hope that his disease is not too advanced to treat, and I hope that his parents come around and help him through this tough time so he can live a long, healthy life.

  94. #94 Dawn
    May 18, 2009

    @Chris: Maybe Mertle, or whatever her name is, is much older than we think and is confused. After all, if she was a “mini-skirt wearing cursing little working mom with kids languishing in daycare” who had to “face the KKK, gangsters and more, to save my mixed offspring from death and destruction” she must be in her 70′s and could be confused or misremembering. I can’t recall the last time I heard of the KKK interfering with a white woman, even with mixed offspring, after the 1960′s.

    Most of the Amish and Mennonite communities I am familiar with DO utilize modern medicine to some extent. They often also use herbals for minor ailments. Never heard of one that believed they could cure cancer (PA, Ohio, Canada groups). There may be a splinter group with these beliefs but the ones I know don’t have them.

    Herbs aren’t magic. Many of them do have proven pharmacological effects, which the medical community is well aware of. The reason to use Aspirin instead of Willow Bark (to give one example) is for dosage control and to decrease some of the side effects the raw herb might have. The active ingredient in an herb can vary from place to place so dosing isn’t consistent. Medical preparations simply make them more consistent and safer.

  95. #95 Shay
    May 18, 2009

    “I’m sorry disbelief in God and His goodness and His power in healing is so prevalent here.”

    Old Red Cross joke: as floodwaters rose around him, a man climbed onto his rooftop. His neighbors got ready to evacuate and offered him a seat in their car but he refused, saying simply, “God will save me.”

    The police came by with a van and tried to convince him to leave, but he refused again, stating “God will save me.” The waters continued to rise and the National Guard arrived in a powerboat, begging the man to leave with them. He remained firm in his belief that “God will save me.”

    Eventually, the rising river sucked him under and he drowned. When he got to Heaven, he went up to God and asked plaintively “Lord, Lord! I was faithful; why did you not save me?”

    “I sent two vehicles and a boat,” God replied. “What more did you want?”

  96. #96 Calli Arcale
    May 18, 2009

    Great minds think alike, Shay; I posted the same story just a few comments up. ;-)

  97. #97 pavel
    May 18, 2009

    If someone of you did this horrible chemotherapy will understand Daniel’s choice and their parents doubts. A normal living being will prefer to die instead to be exposed again to that barbaric and devastating “medical” treatment. There are thousands of natural remedies, specially Amazonians and Indian barks and plants, but…medical mafia and drug companies are doing an underground war against natural cures principles. Why? It isn’t hard to understand. If a few hundreds of grams of a cheap Amazonian graviola root could cure a horrible disease how these business doctors and pharmaceutical mobs will exist? We are then forced to follow a treatment impose by criminals to “save” our lives. If Daniel doesn’t know how to read it is likely better than to know how to read but not understand anything. The truth is beyond the articles published by obscure circles oriented for their profit. The judge is also just an ignorant without any profound scientific background and the modern doctors are far to care about your lives. There are many naturist healers who ask nothing for their cures but they are hunting and eliminated or reduced to silence and forbidden to practice their free or cheap healthier medicine.

  98. #98 Dawn
    May 18, 2009

    @pavet: Please do some logical thinking. A doctor who could discover a cure for cancer, ANY cancer, would become world famous, probably win a Nobel prize and have anything he/she wanted. Do you think that a doctor would ignore that kind of fame/money? Get real. A Big Pharma company that could patent a cure for cancer from a natural product (see my post above about purifying and regulating dosages) would make millions. Do you really think they wouldn’t do that? They have family and friends who suffer from cancer too. They would jump at a chance to cure their loved ones. Big Pharma could take those “few hundreds of grams of a cheap Amazonian graviola root”, purify the active ingredient, patent it, and make millions….IF IT REALLY WORKED.

  99. #99 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 18, 2009

    mertle sez: Chemo/radiation poisons our bodies…don’t we all know it. It has a 100% death rate…eventually, if not right away.

    Lance Armstrong
    Mario Lemieux
    Mr. T.
    What do they have in common?

    Oh, and BTW, pavel, you’re a paranoid idiot. Look up the history of Tb treatment.

  100. #100 Natalie
    May 18, 2009

    If someone of you did this horrible chemotherapy will understand Daniel’s choice and their parents doubts.

    Comment #2 is from a cancer survivor. The previous posts on this topic each had similar comments from cancer survivors.

    And the fact that a person disagrees doesn’t mean they don’t understand.

  101. #101 Jana Murray
    May 18, 2009

    The State should not be able to control families choices in health care, period!

  102. #102 Chris
    May 18, 2009

    Dawn, I suspect you are right. (though around here the skinheads/militia/patriots were fairly active less than a decade ago)

    Jana Murray:

    The State should not be able to control families choices in health care, period!

    So, should that include having the child go through a ritual beating or exorcism for a seizure disorder(Anneliese Michel)? Or letting a baby girl die from sepsis because of severe eczema because the parents only wanted to use homeopathy, while the mother got treated with real medicine for gall stones(Baby Gloria Thomas)? Wrap a child tightly in a blanket and not let her out even after she vomited and died of suffocation (Candace Newmaker)? Or to withhold food from children (child of Rebecca A. Long and Jon E. Pomeroy)?

    So, do you think children should be treated as possessions and not human beings?

  103. #103 Chris
    May 18, 2009

    More children noted here:
    http://whatstheharm.net/children.html

    (oh, wow… Amora Bain Carson was bludgeoned, she was only 13 months old!)

  104. #104 Dangerous Bacon
    May 18, 2009

    mertle: “I had to face the KKK, gangsters and more, to save my mixed offspring from death and destruction.”

    Oh my – was it the KKK and gangsters who waylaid your boat at sea and cast your papers into the waters? Did this happen off the African coast or on the Staten Island ferry?

    “Let me quickly say, our trauma doctors fit the Biblical definition of physician.”

    Yeah, quite a few alties leave themselves this out. You don’t want to be in a car wreck and have to depend on herbs. Better include general surgeons too – it’s a real bitch having acute appendicitis or ruptured diverticulitis and being forced to rely on “natural healing”.

    But what do I know; I barely had a 3.5 GPA in high skule.

  105. #105 Robster, FCD
    May 18, 2009

    Pavel,

    Perhaps you should race to the pacific northwest, and start peeling the bark off of the Pacific Yew. Quickly now! It can be used to treat multiple cancers. Big Pharma would never be able to make money from that!

    What? Thats taxol? Oh. And the naturally occurring stands of Pacific Yew wouldn’t be able to support the clinical need for the drug, which is now easily made in the lab.

    Oh. Well, the Chinese Happy Plant, an ornamental plant has a powerful anticancer effect and… Oh, the compound is too toxic in humans to be useful, and has to be produced and modified in the lab, and is the prototype of dozens of clinically relevant drugs?

    So members of the Vinca plant also have anticancer effects… Oh, vinblastine, vincristine, vinorelbine, vindesine…

    Oh well, Pavel. Perhaps you should try again somewhere where people don’t have the kind of background to show you are so wrong so easily.

    —————–

    Mertle,

    This isn’t the place to pitch your screenplay. I would suggest that before you are prepared to give it a complete treatment, you need to add some faults and failings in order for the viewer to truly identify with your lead character.

    Unless you have any evidence for your claims, I’m really going to have to rely on my fallback position that you are performing the part of a fictional character of your own production.

  106. #106 Calli Arcale
    May 19, 2009

    Latest development in the case — his father has finally spoken, telling authorities that his wife and son have disappeared. His wife apparently told him yesterday that she was leaving and that’s all he needed to know. The boy’s court-appointed attorney immediately moved that custody of the boy be transferred to the county. This all came up because the boy was due in court today, but I have to wonder how the father feels about this, especially since he’s been so silent during the case thus far.

    So, now we have our answer as to whether or not the judge’s efforts would be successful — they won’t. The mother has taken the child to keep him away from the state, doubtless feeling persecuted, and will probably arrange for him to be hidden while he undergoes this natural healing regimen. This will not go well.

    Minnesota boy resisting chemo misses court hearing

  107. #107 BlueMongoose
    May 19, 2009

    I find it odd that other judges have ruled it’s okay for a 13-year-old girl to buy condoms, have sex and get a medical procedure called an abortion all without the consent of her parents; and yet this 13-year-old boy has the consent of his parents to say no to this medical procedure and a judge says the boy isn’t making a competent decision. Hmm…it smacks of liberal double standards.

  108. #108 non-believer
    May 19, 2009

    I don’t care who you think you are, taking away the “constitutional” right to religon and choice in medical care of an individual is TYRANNY any way you slice it…If this decision is allowed to stand then the US has lost its status as a free country. What a bunch of Pompous fanatics thinking they can tell another person how to live, die, express their freedom and pursue happiness… Isn’t that what we are guaranteed in the Bill Of Rights!!!! Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If the state can force its whim in this case then there is NO FREEDOM at all in this country… DON’T ANY OF YOU UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS DECISION IS????? THIS DECISION TAKES AWAY ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS AS AN INDIVIDUAL

  109. #109 Chris
    May 19, 2009

    non-believer:

    I don’t care who you think you are, taking away the “constitutional” right to religon and choice in medical care of an individual is TYRANNY any way you slice it.

    So you support starving a child based on a religion based diet (Woyah Andressohn) and torturing a child to death because your religion thinks the child is possessed (Victoria Climbie)?

    Just asking if you think a child is a possession or a human being who deserves the best chance at a healthy life.

    More cases here: http://whatstheharm.net/children.html

  110. #110 Richard Eis
    May 21, 2009

    -taking away the “constitutional” right to religon and choice in medical care-

    Whats the point of having choice if the other choice is death. And this isn’t about an individual adult’s decision. It’s about a scared little boy who has had his head filled with non-sense…who ACTUALLY doesn’t believe he even has cancer and you expect him to make an informed decision.

    Thats like a kid thinking he can fly in their batman constume and you not stopping them jumping off the top of a building because that apparently would be tyranny.

  111. #111 Sarah Cain
    May 21, 2009

    I think that many people are really missing the point in this case. This is not about whether or not a child has the right to live, or whether the mother has the right to keep him away from treatment. It is about whether the right to seek alternative treatments exists at all. Alternative treatments for cancer are more effective (especially in the long term), involve less suffering, but do not provide funding to doctors or pharmaceutical companies.

    Here are some statistics that were not cited in the mainstream news articles:

    - A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo’s supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy. (Journal of The National Cancer Institute 87:10)

    - Children who are ‘successfully’ treated for Hodgkin’s disease are 18 times more likely later to develop secondary malignant tumors. (Chemotherapy and radiation actually stimulate cancers, and they have known this since the 1940′s. It is what some people call ‘creating lifetime consumers’ of their ‘treatments’.)

    More statistics about cancer survival rates, that you’re not supposed to know about are available in my most recent blog post about this poor boy:

    http://naturallygoodmagazine.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry090521-100957

  112. #112 Orac
    May 21, 2009

    Sarah,

    Thanks for the laugh. Your article is about as good an example of the willful distorting and misinterpreting statistics as I have ever seen, and perhaps I will even blog it next week. (Tomorrow’s topic is reserved; for long-time readers one word: Geier.)

    Here’s the CliffsNotes version. Those risks of late cancers after chemotherapy that you go on about are not a secret. Oncologists are straight up about it. The thing is, those are fairly uncommon cancers to begin with; so even a 14-fold increased risk is still acceptable. Why? Because 14 times a small number is still a pretty small number, but, more importantly, to get those late cancers patients have to–you know–actually live long enough to get into the risk range. Living long enough is something that untreated Hodgkin’s disease patients most definitely do not do. They die of their Hodgkin’s disease. So the tradeoff is rational.

    As for the “defining” of cancer, if you look at that NCI website, you’ll see that it cites both five and ten year survival rates. After ten years, for childhood cancers, the risk of recurrence is very low.

  113. #113 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 21, 2009

    I don’t care who you think you are, taking away the “constitutional” right to religon and choice in medical care of an individual is TYRANNY any way you slice it…If this decision is allowed to stand then the US has lost its status as a free country. What a bunch of Pompous fanatics thinking they can tell another person how to live, die, express their freedom and pursue happiness… Isn’t that what we are guaranteed in the Bill Of Rights!!!! Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If the state can force its whim in this case then there is NO FREEDOM at all in this country… DON’T ANY OF YOU UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS DECISION IS????? THIS DECISION TAKES AWAY ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS AS AN INDIVIDUAL

    non-believer what is your take on this mother’s care for her son?

    She should be allowed to continue on, right?

  114. #114 Sarah Cain
    May 22, 2009

    Orac;

    You be sure to blog about just how rare (and therefore unimportant) breast cancer, and thyroid cancer are. Enjoy. In a study entitled, “Incidence of Second Cancers in Those Treated for Hodgkin’s Disease” printed in the JNCI, they were the most likely cancers to appear, followed by leukemia.

    The problem with this case is that oncologists are not being straight up about the later risks. They talk about it as if he will get chemotherapy, and then he will be cured (which the public interpret as not getting cancer any more, and not dieing). I guess it’s your call what you think is an ‘acceptable’ increase and risk – but I think this is something that the public doesn’t know about, and should. If they know about it, I think it would change some opinions.

  115. #115 toughenup
    May 22, 2009

    The Hauser family are simple farmers who homeschooled their children until Child Protective Services intervened. Daniel was injured at birth when a doctor was delayed in delivering him and he suffered a loss of oxygen. He can read but not at grade level. The family is not opposed to medical treatment per se, but they have decided to seek alternative treatment for this cancer at a clinic in another country. When completed, their fate will be in the hands of Child Protective Services who are circling the family farm as we speak, like vultures waiting for fresh kill. For reasons why we should not ever put kids in the care of CPS – Google child+death+foster care. I support the Hausers and will fight for them if CPS tries to take their children away or terminate their rights or any other such thing. I hope that all of you will join me in doing the same.

  116. #116 toughenup
    May 22, 2009

    The Hauser family are simple farmers who homeschooled their children until Child Protective Services intervened. Daniel was injured at birth when a doctor was delayed in delivering him and he suffered a loss of oxygen. He can read but not at grade level. The family is not opposed to medical treatment per se, but they have decided to seek alternative treatment for this cancer at a clinic in another country. When completed, their fate will be in the hands of Child Protective Services who are circling the family farm as we speak, like vultures waiting for fresh kill. For reasons why we should not ever put kids in the care of CPS – Google child+death+foster care. I support the Hausers and will fight for them if CPS tries to take their children away or terminate their rights or any other such thing. I hope that all of you will join me in doing the same.

  117. #117 Rogue Epidemiologist
    May 22, 2009

    @toughenup
    Orac has already explained and established that without some kind of intervention, Daniel Hauser WILL DIE.

    CPS will not kill this kid: CANCER WILL.

    You’re equating two things that aren’t on the same plane. But if you were to make your analogy more linear, you’re trying to tell us that you’d rather let a kid die of cancer than put him in a foster home.

    How fuckin’ stupid are you?
    Very, apparently

  118. #118 Rogue Epidemiologist
    May 22, 2009

    Sarah,
    Even if your position was sound (which it is not, as Orac has pointed out), then you’re basically saying it is better to die of cancer the first go round, than to cure one form of it with chemo, then have to come back years later and cure some other kind of cancer.

    With that said (to my fellow scientists and medical professionals), knowing that cancers often have a genetic etiology, then is it wrong to say that people who get cancer as children may be genetically predisposed to cancer overall?

    Newsflash: Cyanide, arsenic and tetrodotoxin are all naturally occurring substances.

  119. #119 Sarah Cain
    May 22, 2009

    Rogue;

    That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that because the risk of living a normal life after the chemo is not as high as the media is reporting; he and his parents should have the right to make this choice.

    “…to my fellow scientists and medical professionals…”

    Above is one of the main reasons that people are switching to alternative medicine. This attitude is not one which is going to be accepted by the masses, and it is why people are leaving.

    The question on the genetic inheritance of cancer wasn’t directed to me, but I’ll answer it anyway. Childhood cancer, in all but the most remote of cases, is not due to a genetic disposition, but instead due to a lifestyle which is passed through families.

    As far as cyanide, and other natural poisons; I never said that everything natural is harmless. Just that we don’t use poisons as our medicine, can you say the same?

  120. #120 flounder
    May 22, 2009

    Sarah,
    The chance of living a normal life after chemo may not be as high as the media is reporting (although I’m not sure what media you’re referring to). However, his chance of living at all without chemo is zero. No one, not even his parents, has the choice to condemn him to an agonizing death when his chances of recovery are so high.

  121. #121 Sarah Cain
    May 23, 2009

    I disagree completely (though I’m sure that you already knew that). He does have a good chance of survival without chemotherapy. She’s not just letting her son go without any treatment, just a different kind of treatment. The stats for alternative clinics like the Gerber Institute are exceptional. They both have a right to make that choice.

  122. #122 Orac
    May 24, 2009

    I disagree completely (though I’m sure that you already knew that). He does have a good chance of survival without chemotherapy.

    No, he does not. It’s not a matter of “agreeing” or “disagreeing.” It’s a matter of science and of fact. You are, quite simply, completely wrong.

  123. #123 Prometheus
    May 24, 2009

    Sarah Cain opines:

    “Above is one of the main reasons that people are switching to alternative medicine. This attitude is not one which is going to be accepted by the masses, and it is why people are leaving.”

    I, for one, don’t understand why doctors (real doctors, not “alternative” quacktitioners) give a rodent’s posterior about the people “leaving” – they’re busy enough to not mind 10%, 20% or even 50% of the population goes to “alternative” practitioners.

    Besides, anyone who is really sick will eventually be seeing a real doctor anyway – even if it only a pathologist.

    The only thing I can imagine is that the real doctors feel compassion for people and don’t like to see them wasting their time and money on useless therapies. Perhaps they don’t like to see people coming to them sicker than they have to be. Maybe the real doctors don’t like to see people suffer.

    Frankly, if “the masses” are going to go to “alternative” practitioners, what that means to me is that I’ll be able to get an appointment with my doctor a little bit easier.

    As for “the masses” supposedly flocking to “alternative” practitioners, this will be just another selection pressure against people who can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy.

    Maybe it will eventually improve the species.

    Prometheus

  124. #124 ralph
    May 24, 2009

    Please be advised that bible thumping kooks do not have better remission rates that ordinary people.
    This is perpetrated by alt-med cultists.
    There are drugs for any side effects that the kid could encounter. Many people function normally with this treatment.
    Hairloss and fatigue will be the biggest problems.
    In the Pittsburgh area we have hundreds of these alt-med practioner clowns, peddling homeopothy”placebo based on evil spirits’ invented by some whackjob guy 200 years ago..
    Note most of these practitioners operate with 200 dollar mail order degrees
    iridology’ claims to look in your eyes and diagnose disease.
    Applied kinesiology,” feeling your muscles and diagnosing nutritional deficiencies.
    Naturopathy, ‘claiming you are sick cause your body is out of balance
    live blood cell analysis, taking a small blood sample and turning some dials to make you look deficient, like the old TV man checking tubes and fixing the voltage to make the tube read bad.
    Hair analysis, again looking for deficiencies, in reality only good for forensic doctors like CSI on TV.
    Heavy metal testing, a crock with a fake processs called chelation therapy with vitamin overdoses and DHEA in reality only good for blood poisoning.
    Therapeutic Touch, too laughable to even discuss, fixing your aura,
    Energy field machines, checking yiur energy levels, right out of a mad scientist film.
    Mercury amalgam removal, claiming that traces amount of mercury in your mouth from metal fillings cause cancer and scamming you into removing them.
    chiropractors, long debunked as just “”THEATRE’ by cracking your joints and making the popping noise, generally worthless.
    lymph brushing, claiming to brush your lymphatics will open them up and remove disease.
    foot baths, claims to remove toxins..colon cleanses and de-toxing, the biggest scam out there, your bowel movement naturally is the colon cleanser and there is no such thing as 20 lbs, of fecal matter in your colon unless your body is impacted from cancer or blockage,, ask any stomach Dr.
    Coffee enemas and other Mexican clinic treatments, 5 grand a week cash, worthless, and zero remission rate.

    Last but not least, much of this junk is :practicing medicine without a license” a felony in many states.

    Please go to “Quackwatch.com and read about hundreds of alt-med scams written by real Doctors and learn about these phony modalities, especially dangerous herbs that kill and put many in the ER yearly…
    Be wary of vitamin overdose, see the Merck Manual and read of vitaminosis and how some of this can kill you.

  125. #125 ralph
    May 24, 2009

    Please be advised that bible thumping kooks do not have better remission rates that ordinary people.
    This is perpetrated by alt-med cultists.
    There are drugs for any side effects that the kid could encounter. Many people function normally with this treatment.
    Hairloss and fatigue will be the biggest problems.
    In the Pittsburgh area we have hundreds of these alt-med practioner clowns, peddling homeopothy”placebo based on evil spirits’ invented by some whackjob guy 200 years ago..
    Note most of these practitioners operate with 200 dollar mail order degrees
    iridology’ claims to look in your eyes and diagnose disease.
    Applied kinesiology,” feeling your muscles and diagnosing nutritional deficiencies.
    Naturopathy, ‘claiming you are sick cause your body is out of balance
    live blood cell analysis, taking a small blood sample and turning some dials to make you look deficient, like the old TV man checking tubes and fixing the voltage to make the tube read bad.
    Hair analysis, again looking for deficiencies, in reality only good for forensic doctors like CSI on TV.
    Heavy metal testing, a crock with a fake processs called chelation therapy with vitamin overdoses and DHEA in reality only good for blood poisoning.
    Therapeutic Touch, too laughable to even discuss, fixing your aura,
    Energy field machines, checking yiur energy levels, right out of a mad scientist film.
    Mercury amalgam removal, claiming that traces amount of mercury in your mouth from metal fillings cause cancer and scamming you into removing them.
    chiropractors, long debunked as just “”THEATRE’ by cracking your joints and making the popping noise, generally worthless.
    lymph brushing, claiming to brush your lymphatics will open them up and remove disease.
    foot baths, claims to remove toxins..colon cleanses and de-toxing, the biggest scam out there, your bowel movement naturally is the colon cleanser and there is no such thing as 20 lbs, of fecal matter in your colon unless your body is impacted from cancer or blockage,, ask any stomach Dr.
    Coffee enemas and other Mexican clinic treatments, 5 grand a week cash, worthless, and zero remission rate.

    Last but not least, much of this junk is :practicing medicine without a license” a felony in many states.

    Please go to “Quackwatch.com and read about hundreds of alt-med scams written by real Doctors and learn about these phony modalities, especially dangerous herbs that kill and put many in the ER yearly…
    Be wary of vitamin overdose, see the Merck Manual and read of vitaminosis and how some of this can kill you.

  126. #126 film izle
    October 21, 2009

    Mercury amalgam removal, claiming that traces amount of mercury in your mouth from metal fillings cause cancer and scamming you into removing them.
    chiropractors, long debunked as just “”THEATRE’ by cracking your joints and making the popping noise, generally worthless.
    lymph brushing, claiming to brush your lymphatics will open them up and remove disease.
    foot baths, claims to remove toxins..colon cleanses and de-toxing, the biggest scam out there, your bowel movement naturally is the colon cleanser and there is no such thing as 20 lbs, of fecal matter in your colon unless your body is impacted from cancer or blockage,, ask any stomach Dr.
    Coffee enemas and other Mexican clinic treatments, 5 grand a week cash, worthless, and zero remission rate.

    Last but not least, much of this junk is :practicing medicine without a license” a felony in many states.

    Please go to “Quackwatch.com and read about hundreds of alt-med scams written by real Doctors and learn about these phony modalities, especially dangerous herbs that kill and put many in the ER yearly…

  127. #127 Ramel
    October 21, 2009

    I think sci blobs need to work on their spam filters…..

  128. #128 Ramel
    October 21, 2009

    Argh, spellcheck fail….

  129. #129 hd film izle
    December 4, 2009

    The family is not opposed to medical treatment per se, but they have decided to seek alternative treatment for this cancer at a clinic in another country. When completed, their fate will be in the hands of Child Protective Services who are circling the family farm as we speak, like vultures waiting for fresh kill.

  130. #130 hd film seyret
    December 4, 2009

    Please be advised that bible thumping kooks do not have better remission rates that ordinary people.
    This is perpetrated by alt-med cultists.
    There are drugs for any side effects that the kid could encounter. Many people function normally with this treatment.
    Hairloss and fatigue will be the biggest problems.
    In the Pittsburgh area we have hundreds of these alt-med practioner clowns, peddling homeopothy”placebo based on evil spirits’ invented by some whackjob guy 200 years ago..

  131. #131 özdere
    December 14, 2009

    Frankly, if “the masses” are going to go to “alternative” practitioners, what that means to me is that I’ll be able to get an appointment with my doctor a little bit easier.

    As for “the masses” supposedly flocking to “alternative” practitioners, this will be just another selection pressure against people who can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy.

    Maybe it will eventually improve the species.

  132. #132 film izle
    December 16, 2009

    Last but not least, much of this junk is :practicing medicine without a license” a felony in many states. thanks great article

  133. #133 film izle
    December 20, 2009

    I disagree completely (though I’m sure that you already knew that). He does have a good chance of survival without chemotherapy. She’s not just letting her son go without any treatment, just a different kind of treatment. The stats for alternative clinics like the Gerber Institute are exceptional. They both have a right to make that choice.

  134. #134 film izle
    January 10, 2010

    Maybe it will eventually improve the species.

  135. #135 divx sinema
    January 19, 2010

    Please go to “Quackwatch.com and read about hundreds of alt-med scams written by real Doctors and learn about these phony modalities, especially dangerous herbs that kill and put many in the ER yearly…

  136. #136 revizyon ile organize
    February 12, 2010

    Please be advised that bible thumping kooks do not have better remission rates that ordinary people.
    This is perpetrated by alt-med cultists.
    There are drugs for any side effects that the kid could encounter. Many people function normally with this treatment.
    Hairloss and fatigue will be the biggest problems.
    In the Pittsburgh area we have hundreds of these alt-med practioner clowns, peddling homeopothy”placebo based on evil spirits’ invented by some whackjob guy 200 years ago..

  137. #137 Scientizzle
    March 7, 2010

    Wow…how’s that for ironic spam: #138 copying #128, a remark about spambots.

    I, too, think sci blobs need to work on their spam filters…..

  138. You be sure to blog about just how rare (and therefore unimportant) breast cancer, and thyroid cancer are. Enjoy. In a study entitled, “Incidence of Second Cancers in Those Treated for Hodgkin’s Disease” printed in the JNCI, they were the most likely cancers to appear, followed by leukemia.

    The problem with this case is that oncologists are not being straight up about the later risks. They talk about it as if he will get chemotherapy, and then he will be cured (which the public interpret as not getting cancer any more, and not dieing). I guess it’s your call what you think is an ‘acceptable’ increase and risk – but I think this is something that the public doesn’t know about, and should. If they know about it, I think it would change some opinions.

  139. #139 Triathlon Schedules
    March 28, 2010

    With that said (to my fellow scientists and medical professionals), knowing that cancers often have a genetic etiology, then is it wrong to say that people who get cancer as children may be genetically predisposed to cancer overall?

    Newsflash: Cyanide, arsenic and tetrodotoxin are all naturally occurring substances.

  140. #140 Parça Kontör
    July 3, 2010

    I, too, think

  141. #141 divx film izle
    July 8, 2010

    Please be advised that bible thumping kooks do not have better remission rates that ordinary people.
    This is perpetrated by alt-med cultists.
    There are drugs for any side effects that the kid could encounter. Many people function normally with this treatment.
    Hairloss and fatigue will be the biggest problems.
    In the Pittsburgh area we have hundreds of these alt-med practioner clowns, peddling homeopothy”placebo based on evil spirits’ invented by some whackjob guy 200 years ago

  142. #142 dizi izle
    November 21, 2010

    The only thing I can imagine is that the real doctors feel compassion for people and don’t like to see them wasting their time and money on useless therapies. Perhaps they don’t like to see people coming to them sicker than they have to be. Maybe the real doctors don’t like to see people suffer.

    Frankly, if “the masses” are going to go to “alternative” practitioners, what that means to me is that I’ll be able to get an appointment with my doctor a little bit easier.

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