Judge overrules Nemenah band devotees on Daniel Hauser medical treatment

May 16th, 2009 - 11:04 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

A Minnesota judge has ruled that Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old Minnesota boy, must seek conventional medical treatment for cancer, over-ruling the decision of his parents to use natural treatments in accordance with Nemenah Band beliefs.

The Nemeneh Band was founded in the 1990s and advocates natural treatments based on diet and natural remedies as promoted by some Native Americans.

Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and stopped chemotherapy in February after a single treatment.

In a 58-page ruling, Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg found that Daniel Hauser has been “medically neglected” and is in need of child protection services.

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,” Judge Rodenberg wrote.

Though Daniel will stay in the custody of his parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser have until May 19 to get an updated chest X-ray for their son and select an oncologist.

Philip Elbert, Daniel’s court appointed attorney labeled the decision “unfortunate.”

“I feel it’s a blow to families. It marginalizes the decisions that parents face every day in regard to their children’s medical care. It really affirms the role that big government is better at making our decisions for us.”

Doctors have said Daniel’s cancer has up to a 90 percent chance of being cured with chemotherapy and radiation. Without those treatments, doctors said his chances of survival are five percent.

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