28 May 2009

Chemo boy starts treatment

The 13-year-old boy who spent a week on the run with his mother to avoid cancer treatment that went against his religious beliefs has returned and is underoging treatment today.

The 13-year-old Minnesota boy with cancer who fled with his mother to avoid chemotherapy will undergo the treatment Thursday.

Daniel Hauser, who has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, was scheduled to be examined Wednesday by a paediatric oncologist at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. His parents have agreed to allow him to receive a round of chemotherapy on Thursday.

Colleen and Anthony Hauser had opposed chemotherapy for Daniel because the family prefers natural healing practices advocated by a religious group that says it follows American Indian beliefs. Colleen and Daniel returned home Monday after spending six days on the run in violation of a court order.

A judge allowed the parents to keep custody of Daniel in exchange for agreeing to the hospital treatment for their son, even though an attorney for family services in Brown County opposed the move.

Officials mum on action to be taken against mother
Daniel spent a week on the run with his mother to avoid cancer treatment that went against his religious beliefs but returned to Minnesota on Monday, officials said.

"It is a good day as Daniel and Colleen Hauser have been safely returned to Minnesota," a spokesman for the Brown County Sheriff's Office in New Ulm, Minnesota told reporters, yet he declined to comment on the boy's condition or what action would be taken against his mother.

A judge ordered that Colleen Hauser should be arrested and her son placed in foster care after they fled their rural home on May 18. Local media reported that the boy was taken to hospital for testing and treatment upon his return.

Hauser was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in January and received just one round of chemotherapy and radiation therapy before his parents put him on an alternative treatment that included herbs and vitamins.

Cancer grown back to original size
The boy's doctor called child welfare authorities when Hauser did not return for treatment in February. The boy's mother testified at a May 8 hearing that the family considers chemotherapy a potentially fatal poison and its use violates their religious beliefs.

The boy's doctors have testified that he will likely die within five years without treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation would increase his chance of survival to 80 to 95%.

A court-ordered chest X-ray showed that while the first round of treatment helped destroy some of the cancer, it has now grown back to its original size.

Daniel's doctor said last week that the boy will suffocate within the next few weeks unless he gets immediate medical care because the tumour is pressing on his airway. – (Sapa, May 2009)

Read more:
Chemo: kid and mom on the run
Judge orders chemo for US kid


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