The Right to Kill Your Child

Although she doesn’t know it, that is exactly what Colleen Hauser wants.

Forced Chemo

Police look for mom, son who fled to avoid chemo

SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) — A courtroom clash between medicine and faith took a criminal turn, with police around the country on the lookout Wednesday for a Minnesota mother who fled with her cancer-stricken 13-year-old son rather than consent to chemotherapy.

(…)

Daniel has Hodgkins lymphoma, a highly curable form of cancer when treated with chemo and radiation. But the teen and his parents rejected chemo after a single treatment, with the boy’s mother saying that putting toxic substances in the body violates the family’s religious convictions.

Colleen Hauser said she had been treating the boy’s cancer instead with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionized water and other natural alternatives — a regimen based mostly on information she found on the Internet.

Thanks to those dreadful interwebz, this poor boy’s mother has become convinced in the efficacy of a pseudo-Native American superstition called “Nemenhah”. Rather than letting the doctor’s treat Daniel she’s taken the boy on the run, where he will almost certainly die while taking vitamins and squatting in sweat-lodges.

What’s probably the worst fact of this case is that the Hauser’s have convinced Daniel of their nonsense. Though it’s hard to blame him. Undergoing chemotherapy is not a pleasant experience. It can often cause more pain than the patient has suffered from the cancer itself when the chemo treatments begin. And at the age of 13, how could a sick boy do anything but listen to his parents?

As strange as it may seem, I am not against adults refusing chemotherapy or other modern treatments. I’m not terribly happy when anyone makes a decision that ends up killing them, but an adult should have the right to do so if they can’t be convinced otherwise.

But a child doesn’t have that right. We recognize as a society that children don’t know enough and don’t have enough experience to come to decisions about their own safety. And as much power as parents do hold over their children, parents do not own them.

In Ancient Rome, the paterfamilias had ultimate authority over his family. He could put his children to death if they disobeyed him. But that is not the world we live in. You do not have the right to kill your child.

I just hope that the police find Daniel Hauser before it’s too late.

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22 responses to “The Right to Kill Your Child

  1. There are two ways of looking at this. One could say the parents are wrong because they may well allow their child to die over this. One could also say that the courts shouldn’t have the ability to tell people what forms of treatment they will accept.

  2. The courts, however, should have the ability to tell people that they can’t give their child treatment that fundamentally doesn’t work.

  3. I’m not entirely certain I agree with either of the previous two comments.

    On the one hand, stupidity leading to tragedy is never something you want to see. On the other hand, “the law” is a *really* bad venue for correction here. It doesn’t scale well. It isn’t applied equally. It can certainly be badly abused. It’s expensive. It’s not time-sensitive. I can go on. Maybe it was the right decision in this case; I haven’t read enough about it to make the call either way.

    Yeah, it’s a sad day when some nutcase yanks their child out of chemo because they can’t face their child’s pain. Forcing someone (even a minor) to undergo treatment because they’re being ridiculous isn’t necessarily the right solution, either.

  4. Militarymale

    you can not force therapy or medicine on a person regardless of age or religion…you take away the right to free choice. welcome to america and stop making decision on how everyone should live their lives who give you the right to tell me what medical care i need and must have. You are not the owner of my body, mind, or soul and you arent footing the bills or able to tell me what my religion should allow.

    Whoever approved that warrant is a idiot

  5. So we should just let the children of religious kooks die? Let them suffer for the inability of their parents to think critically?

  6. Militarymale

    Lets just let the courts make decisions for all our lives and what we do daily since we apparently cant do anything right. Oh yeah and we have some real winners in charge making laws and abiding by them as well dont we. Parents may not be perfect and people may not be but you take away our rights to make our own decisions right or wrong you take away all our rights in essence.

  7. Militarymale

    Oh and your comment that a child doesnt have that right your wrong they do and if their parents love them and respect there wishes they will do whatever they can to support them till they are well or have taken up there time on this earth. The minute you no longer care about your childs pain and wishes you no longer care about your child.

    Another thing if this child was in fact dying on his death bed and had a will that said he did not want to be kept on life support no matter what and the parents went against it i bet you would back the parents instead of the childs wishes with his own life.

    And with the other hand if the parents let him have his last wish you would call then negligent and unable to make that call for a child.

    Enjoy your stupidity

    Respectfully,

  8. “i bet you would back the parents instead of the childs wishes with his own life.”

    Yes. Because in that situation, the parents would be correct. Mostly because a minor cannot sign a legal document like a will.

    “or have taken up there time on this earth. ”

    Nice. Just let the kids die.

    Very compassionate of you.

  9. I back the right of the family, as a whole, to decide what is best for it as a family.

    It seems the Hausers have met this threshold.

    I don’t know the facts of the case completely and I never judge based on media reports alone.

    I think the kid might have a chance at a happier life, in the short term, if the court ruling is overturned –

    Of course, the boy migt die in either case if we leave it up to the court system as the wheels of justice turn slowly.

    Finally, cancer is “killing” the boy, not his parents.

    Put yourself in their position.

  10. I have.

    And in their position, I would not think I know more about cancer than the experts.

    Part of the reason we have a government is to protect the people. And part of that involves protecting children from their parents when it is required. This is a case in which it’s required.

  11. So…If there is a treatment derived from pigs (there is by the way) shall the courts force Jewish and/or Muslim parents to have their children undertake it?

    Shall a Christian be forced to have their child treated using Embryonic Stem Cells – if those are ever found to have value in direct treatment of anything?

    Shall the courts have the power to decide which treatments are to be given or forced upon supposedly free citizens?

  12. If the child is going to die, yes.

    Religious exemptions should apply to adults, not children who have no control over the craziness their parents believe.

  13. I honestly wonder how genuine a religion this “Nemenhah Band” (as they call themselves) can possibly be. From what I’ve been able to find out, it is not a “traditional” native American religion. It’s a recent invention by a naturopath named Phillip “Cloudpiler” Landis. It is not accepted by native Americans as a true native American philosophy. And though it has a few hooks into Christianity and Mormonism, it also is not recognized by either of those religions either.

    I suspect, instead, that “Nemenhah” is just a marketing gimmick Landis uses to sell his concoctions. And I also suspect that the Hausers are not practitioners of this “religion,” but rather, they’re using it as a pretense for not allowing their child to get treatment.

    Before anyone leans too heavily on the argument that the Hausers should be able to kill their kid in the name of “religious freedom,” we need first to take a very close look at whether or not this is even a “religion” at all, or even if it were, if the Hausers aren’t simply using it as a legal crutch.

    As a libertarian, I sympathize with the view that people should be able to live their lives as they wish and without government interference. But I’m not convinced this case is genuine.

    Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to question the judgement of people who would purposely choose to endanger human lives … even given the general proposition that people ought to be able to do as they wish. In many cases folks who declare a wish to forgo medical treatment for the sake of religious or pseudoscientific belief, do not actually have a grasp of the danger involved and therefore have not actually thought out the consequences of the decision they’ve made.

  14. Child neglect. It’s that simple.

    Withholding basic medical care is not much different from withholding food. And if that goes against your religious beliefs, then that’s too damn bad.

    And you can law off the straw men and slippery slope fallacies. This isn’t about courts dictating to parents how to raise their children, and it’s not going to mandate their children braces or Lazik or XYZ.

    With chemo, the kid has a high chance of survival. Without chemo, he has a near certain chance of death.

    If this kid dies, his mother needs to be tossed in jail for child neglect.

  15. Experts??? You know what you call the guy who graduates last in his medical class? Doctor, exactly the same as the guy who graduates first. Many of these doctors are the so-called experts we’re dealing with here. Here’s a secret… doctors don’t know half of what they profess to know. They treat diseases by making guesses, granted the guesses are usually more educated than the layman’s guess, but they are still complete guesses. Sorry, but a court should not have the authority to order a child to be a laboratory rat for some “expert” who is making a guess that some treatment that is extremely poisonous and often deadly in and of itself might make the kid better

  16. “You know what you call the guy who graduates last in his medical class? Doctor, exactly the same as the guy who graduates first.”

    And funnily enough, that doctor who graduated at the bottom of his class STILL knows more about medicine than you or I do.

    “order a child to be a laboratory rat”

    Right…because chemotherapy has never been used before…

  17. Let the family decide for themselves. That is their right and nobody should be criminalized for

    not going along with “established medical opinion”. Especially when medical history is replete

    with examples of bad and harmful advice that has caused immeasurable suffering. Just look at how

    dramatically medical opinion has changed over the centuries: In the Middle Ages the doctors

    (those educated in the healing arts) thought that bleeding people was the best way to cure most

    ailments. As recently as the 60′s DDT was still considered “safe” and many thousands of DES

    babies were born to parents who listened to their doctors instead of their common sense. Even

    today, most vaccines are STILL full of mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, etc and are foisted upon

    an unsuspecting public as “good public health policy” (for their own good) as autism rates

    explode.

    The profit-driven pharmaceutical giants and their AMA supported allopathic model (cut it out,

    burn it out or poison it out, never mind what actually CAUSES the disease) have successfully

    co-opted the legal system to support their goals and profits. This case illuminates in chilling

    terms how those who dare question their doctor can find themselves on the wrong side of the legal

    system with the full power of the state to coerce families into compliance.

    In a hundred years everyone will look back upon the current cancer treatments as completely

    barbaric – but that will be far too late for the family in question who is hunted down like

    common criminals to be forced into chemo injections by Sheeple who blindly follow

    whatever they’re told and never question anything.

    Freedom of choice means letting people make their own decisions (even if outside of “established opinion” which is always changing) and allowing people to reap the consequences (good or bad) of those decisions.

  18. John: you don’t have the right to kill your kid through neglect.

    As to the rest of your post, why do you type that much when you make it a pain to read, meaning many people will just skip over your post.

  19. @uberbah

    why do you type that much when you make it a pain to read

    Look at the formatting of John’s comment. It’s got line breaks in funny places. This is typicaly what happens when you copy formatted text from a web page or email then paste it into a comment box. I’m not saying that John did this, but you might have been a little hasty in accusing him of typing so much. ;-)

    ps–It looks like Daniel is back in Minnesota and getting treatment.

  20. 1) Modern medicine is only (like religion), is an infant. There is now way that we know the extent of today’s practices with all of the “nagative” medicines (ie: using diseases’ to combat disease’s) and what they are doing not only physical (Bleeding Ulcers, Headaches diareah, and any symptom that you either read or hear about side-effects.) but subconciously (A.D.D., A.D.H.D., Anxiety Disorders, etc.).

    Modern Medicine was founded by Robert Koch in 1880, by the transmission of disease by bacteria, and then the discovery of antibiotics around 1900.

    The word Pharmacy (as we know it) comes between 1400-1600 They used a variety of “Nature-al” Herbs (not chemicals) to create “Nature-al” Medicine (the art AND science of healing) by compounding and dispensing. The study of mixing herbs and using practices/rites date back B.C., wasn’t known as we call it Paleopharmacological studies.

    Herbal, Natural or Prehistorical Medicines’ is also known as “Witch-Craft” although it’s been around since the “Dawn of time” and lot’s of proof that no witches created them. (religion/superstition). It uses Herbs not chemicals or diseases (which literally means dis-ease) to combat illness.

    Because of “religious/superstitious beliefs” today there isn’t enough research done on why herbs work better with the body than POISONOUS chemicals.(one reason I believe, in the lack of research is that businesses are in the business to make money. Not to cure you, but like religion, to keep you comming back).

    With all of these “new” diseases (which aren’t new at all), and using chemicals to combat them, it’s no wonder why/how they (dis-eases) lay dormant (drugged/suppressed) and then after some time, seems to come back stronger. Then, even more stronger and dangerous (POISONS/TOXINS) sorry, chemicals/Medicines, have to be used. Which is why it seems that cancer paitients, after chemo-therapy
    (Chemo – Chemical and Therapy – ATTEMPTED remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis), Always get worse during the process. It’s not that they are comming back stronger, it’s that they never left.

    So, with all of this said, would you take advise from an infant or an adult or even “wise-old man”?

    Like all things in life, the choice is yours
    In cosmic/spiritual terms:
    life and death
    In and out
    up and down
    horizontal and vertical
    yes and no
    etc.

    “Man/ego” terms:
    Maybe
    I guess
    Could
    Would
    Should
    Probably
    etc.

  21. you dont want me to tell you what i thank of chemo and radiation. you bunch of stuped people. what happened to gods healing.tell your lies to a sister two brothers two grandchildertn and several aunts and uncles and several causins who took your poison that died shortley after there stuped treatments. then talk to me when.six years ago ihad cancer i refused treatment iput my faith in god and took one day at a time. yes i had a wonderfull cancer doctor who did my surgery. i left every thing ese to god when parants rights are taken away the courts and other people in this world. then we might as well kill our selves we have no freedom or rights left . im cofused i live in ga, but i,m not sure this is still amercia. i might be aressted for i am not sure we still have freedom of speech any more.

  22. Gayke Wehunt:

    If a surgeon operated on you, and the surgery worked, then it was the surgeon and his assistants who helped you.

    Not God.

    It’s insulting and ungrateful of you to try to give God the credit for your doctor’s work (and that of his assistants).

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