Respectful Insolence

Daniel Hauser continues to do well

Remember Daniel Hauser?

He’s the the 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who underwent one course of chemotherapy and then decided he wanted to pursue “alternative therapy” based on fear of chemotherapy and because of the influence of the faux Native American religion that his mother had taken up with. Ultimately, after a judge ordered Daniel’s parents to make sure that Daniel received the chemotherapy and radiation therapy he needed, Daniel and his mother Colleen went on the lam, but ultimately Daniel’s mother decided to turn herself in. As a result, Daniel began live-saving chemotherapy.

The good news is that Daniel has completed his induction course of chemotherapy:

Daniel Hauser, the Sleepy Eye teen who gained national attention for resisting court-ordered cancer treatment, has finished his chemotherapy and plans to celebrate with a pizza party at home with family and friends, a family spokesman said Friday.

Daniel is doing “very, very well,” and his parents are thrilled, said Dan Zwakman, a family friend. The 13-year-old completed his chemotherapy Thursday at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and is scheduled to start radiation treatment in October.

“It’s really nice that he’s done,” his mother, Colleen Hauser, told the Associated Press. On Friday, Daniel was feeling a little sick after his final chemo treatment.

“He’s throwing up and stuff like normal, but we keep him occupied with things outside, and that helps a whole lot,” Colleen Hauser said.

Nausea is a small price to pay for surviving a potentially fatal cancer. Indeed, even at reduced doses, Daniel responded beautifully to the chemotherapy:

Since resuming treatment, Daniel was supposed to have 10 chemotherapy sessions, but eight eliminated the tumor in his chest, Zwakman said.

“From the beginning, his progress was so good, he came through absolutely wonderfully,” Zwakman said.

Indeed, this occurred even though Daniel had to undergo a dose reduction to approximately half the usual dose.

The only thing that throws a blot on this happy news is the attitude the Hauser family has:

Zwakman said Daniel’s parents also think that natural therapies practiced by the family helped weaken the tumor before chemotherapy resumed.

Um, in a word, no. The family tried a couple of months of “natural” therapies, and the tumor nearly doubled in size during that time. The woo that Daniel and his mother pursuing did not even put a dent in the tumor.

Unfortunately, for “alternative” medicine, it’s “heads-I-win-tails-you-lose.” If the patient lives, it’s always because of the “natural” remedies. However, if the patient dies, it was clearly the toxicity of the chemotherapy that killed him. Scientific medicine always loses in the minds of such people. That’s OK, though. We’ll tolerate it as long as science-based medicine keeps saving lives. Because of that nasty, reductionist “Western” medicine, a 13-year-old has a chance at living a long and happy life.

Comments

  1. #1 Tsutsugamushi
    September 8, 2009

    Great news, regardless of how they got there. Thanks for the update.

  2. #2 Matt
    September 8, 2009

    Orac,

    You may want to have a look at this…

    Offit’s Failure to Disclose Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine Program

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS106778+08-Sep-2009+PRN20090908

  3. #3 Phoenix Woman
    September 8, 2009

    Nice try, Matt. An NAA press release is not a statement of fact.

  4. #4 Todd W.
    September 8, 2009

    @Matt

    In addition to what Phoenix Woman said, did Mr. Wakefield disclose his financial interests in the program? Or did he disclose that he is not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S.? Just asking.

  5. #5 DLC
    September 8, 2009

    Glad to see the youngster doing well, despite, not because of the sCAM therapy.

    For Matt @ 2: your friends at NAA went to the Lee Atwater school of journalism, so ?

  6. #6 MikeMa
    September 8, 2009

    Very good news.

    Was there any repercussion to the mother for violating the judges order? The order should have included community service praising western, science-based medicine for it’s positive effects.

    While you may not turn any woo addicts away from the dark side, you may persuade some fence sitters to act responsibly.

  7. #7 Eamon
    September 8, 2009

    I hope and pray,

    That Daniel Hauser may grow to adulthood…

    With a strong dose of scepticism!

    Good luck Daniel.

  8. #8 catgirl
    September 8, 2009

    I’m a little disappointed that they are still so adamant about the woo in spite of their own personal experience with it, but mostly I’m just glad this boy is alive and doing well.

  9. #9 has
    September 8, 2009

    An NAA press release is not a statement of fact.

    A casual reader might see the ‘reuters.com’ bit at the start of that URL and mistake an unedited press release for an authoritative news article, mind you.

  10. #10 Pieter B
    September 8, 2009

    I can’t figure out WTFF that article has to do with the H1N1 flu vaccine. It’s just the usual suspects bashing Dr. Offit.

    Offit has frequently accused Wakefield of being conflicted during his MMR research, claiming that Wakefield was being paid by a law firm for his expertise on MMR while also conducting his studies.

    “Conflicted”? Not the same as “having a conflict of interest.” I also question the use of the word “expertise” so close to the word “Wakefield.”

  11. #11 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2009
    Zwakman said Daniel’s parents also think that natural therapies practiced by the family helped weaken the tumor before chemotherapy resumed.

    Um, in a word, no. The family tried a couple of months of “natural” therapies, and the tumor nearly doubled in size during that time. The woo that Daniel and his mother pursuing did not even put a dent in the tumor.

    No, you see, the natural therapies diluted the tumor, decreasing it’s potency in half by adding filler.

  12. #12 intercoastal
    September 8, 2009

    #11 – But in woo-world, doesn’t diluting things make them stronger?

  13. #13 Rebecca
    September 9, 2009

    But have his parents bothered to teach him to read yet?

  14. #14 trrll
    September 10, 2009

    You may want to have a look at this…

    Offit’s Failure to Disclose Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine Program

    Wow! That attains a new level of stupid.

    Of course, it’s moronic to think that Offit’s involvement with with a different vaccine, and his participation on a TV show, neither of which has anything to do with the Swine Flu Vaccine Program, would somehow jeopardize that program.

    But on top of that, Offit’s role in the development of the Rotateq vaccine is forthrightly described in Offit’s own book. It’s even on his Wikipedia page. And it was specifically addressed in the Dateline show. That NAA would expect to fool anybody with such a transparently false claim says a lot about how stupid they must imagine their audience to be.

  15. #15 Militant Agnostic
    September 10, 2009

    That NAA would expect to fool anybody with such a transparently false claim says a lot about how stupid they must imagine their audience to be.

    Based on the anti-vaxers I have seen here and elsewhere in the blogosphere, I don’t think they are imagining anything.

  16. #16 Jeremy H.
    September 11, 2009

    Whatever happened to that crystal-worshipper “Transformational-Attorney/Mediator, Visionary” Susan Daya Hamwi that supposedly assisted with Colleen Hauser’s disappearance?

    None of the later reports mention her. If she really did give counselling/guidance/escape assistance, I hope she gets disbarred for contempt of court and being an accessory to kidnapping.

  17. #17 Mariela
    September 12, 2009

    I wonder if Daniel and his parents also rejected conventional anti-nausea meds, forcing him to go through all the nastiness of un-medicated chemo…. Based on his “beliefs”, he should have! After all, the courts only forced him to have the chemo.

  18. #18 Jean-Paul
    January 19, 2010

    So at this science blog we obviously have a bunch of experts or maybe people with first hand personal knowledge of alternative therapies not working. So as the 18th let me put in my voice. We have an exact situation. In fact the chest tumor was very large. We used alternative therapies from the moment we found out about it, all through the stay in hospital. It must have been working rapidly because the drs couldn’t diagnose. Did I interfere in allopathic processes? Maybe, but now with natural therapies we can look back & say he was cured in about 40days. Chemo was going to be 6mths worth of injections, then more radiation when weakened as well as side-effects both immediate & long term. Do you want to come back to this blog in 1yr, 5yrs 10yrs to see how Daniels’ heart, lungs, bone marrow is? You would be off getting your own chemo by then. 1in3 get cancer, so if you are all so well versed in knowing what it does, then go for it. These type of blogs don’t benefit anyone. Hope my comment makes it because mostly comments such as mine will get censored.

    Unfortunately, for “alternative” medicine, it’s “heads-I-win-tails-you-lose.” -very broad statement which does not mean anything. Do u know the statistics of chemo & cancer? Probably not. HL is one of the better successes with std allopathic treatment (which means-allo=different pathic=suffering-ie side effects different but not necessarily better than the disease itself), that being 38%. Yes you read right. The drs make up the stats & everyone swallows em. The slight of hand used is saying 80%, but that may mean an increase from last yrs stats of 33% & with an 80% increase.

  19. #19 Jean-Paul
    January 19, 2010

    May I also just finally say, the drs dont even look at objective evidence. The scans show no activity of the cancer, yes there is scar tissue there which may take many more months to heal & for the body to remove. However even they contradict themselves. They say its in remission when its not active, but then also say they would treat it if its active or not active. What the #@^*?

  20. #20 Chris
    January 19, 2010

    Jean-Paul:

    Hope my comment makes it because mostly comments such as mine will get censored.

    Why? If you look up thread you will lots of comments like yours. This is not CureZone or Age of Autism.

    One reason for not censuring you is that we really want to know what actual evidence you have for this statement: “The drs make up the stats & everyone swallows em.”

    Also, you are using the wrong definition of allopathy. It is anything that is not homeopathy, as defined by Samual Hahnemann.

    Also you said you were cured with alternatives, while you were in the hospital. Do you not give any credit to real medicine? Good luck with your continued health.

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