"I feel [the judge's decision] is a blow to families," lawyer Philip Elbert said. "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."
Last week a Brown County (MN) District Judge ruled that 13 yr. old Daniel Hauser has been "medically neglected" by his parents. Now, this "medical neglect" is not that the parents will not give the child any treatment -- they are trying natural remedies -- but that they are not willing to submit to the specific medical treatment deemed necessary by doctors, and evidently this judge.
Daniel Hauser has Hodgkin’s disease. He and his parents are refusing treatment based on religious reasons. The boy and his mother have fled or gone into hiding. The boy because the judge has awarded his custody to Brown County. The mother because the judge has issued a warrant for her arrest for contempt of court. Police are looking for them.
Doctors claim Daniel will die if he does not receive more chemotherapy. I don't want to sound too cliché or callous, but we are all going to die -- the point being the doctors may have a good guess of what might happen, but they don't know.
All that aside, these kinds of cases are certainly emotional when we're talking about the life or death of a 13 year boy who is very sick. But should the government run roughshod over parental and religious rights? You may think this government action is OK, but what about when they come for you?
A few links to stories about this:
Daniel Hauser is Missing: Defies Court, Runs with Mother to Avoid Chemotherapy
Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy
Medicine, religion collide in chemo refusal