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Judge orders boy to keep taking chemotherapy

SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) - A 13-year-old boy with cancer who fled
Minnesota to avoid chemotherapy said Tuesday he is angry a judge
has ordered him to continue the treatment because doctors say it
has significantly shrunk the size of his tumor.
Daniel Hauser was not in court when the judge issued his order,
but later told The Associated Press he had hoped he would be able
to stop chemotherapy, which he said makes him ill.
"I get really sick when I do it," the teen said during an
interview at his family's farm in Sleepy Eye. "You get so dizzy
and I get a headache right away."
Daniel said he believes the improvement in his condition is
being caused by his alternative treatments, which include vitamin
supplements, ionized water and organic foods and other dietary
restrictions.
His parents also remain concerned about the risks of
chemotherapy, which they initially rejected for religious reasons,
saying it harms the body. But they told Brown County Judge John
Rodenberg during the Tuesday hearing that they would take their son
to a Wednesday chemo appointment.
Colleen Hauser told the AP at her home that doctors said it
would take six months to treat her son's Hodgkin's lymphoma when he
was first diagnosed, but they've seen improvement in the past few
weeks.
"Wow," she said. "Something's working."
But when asked if she credits the chemotherapy, she said, "I'm
not going to say it's not, but I just want to make it clear that I
would like a better plan, a better treatment plan, for Danny."
The judge assured Colleen and Anthony Hauser they can continue
looking for other ways to treat their son.
"If at the end of the day Daniel lives through this, I am not
going to care ... what cures him," the judge said. "I want Daniel
to be well, and I know you do too."
Rodenberg also ruled Daniel is still in need of child protection
services, agreeing with Brown County prosecutor James Olson that
the case should remain before the court. Olson pointed out the
family has resisted chemotherapy in the past, specifically
Colleen's decision to flee with Daniel to California last month
rather than showing up at a court hearing to discuss the matter.
They were the subject of a search that extended into Mexico.
"History has shown they're not going to comply unless they have
some sort of hammer hanging over their head," he said.
The Hausers' attorney, Barbara Gislason, said the family's
promise to take Daniel to his chemo appointment does not mean they
believe in the treatment.
"When you're a parent dealing with a life and death situation
for your kid, you want everything done perfectly, because if
everything isn't done perfectly, your kid can die. And one of the
ways your kid can die is toxicity from chemotherapy," Gislason
said.
Besides a smaller tumor, doctors said in court documents
presented Tuesday that some of Daniel's symptoms have improved
following the chemotherapy. He was breathing better and sleeping
well, and his cough has improved, they said. But the doctors said
the boy has a poor appetite and has been fatigued and nauseated.
"As (h)is tumor is responding and not resistant to
chemotherapy, I still believe he has an excellent chance of cure,"
Dr. Bruce Bostrom, an oncologist at Children's Hospitals and
Clinics, said in the court documents.
Daniel's court-appointed attorney, Phil Elbert, said Daniel has
seen the most recent X-rays of his tumor, which show that the tumor
is a white, see-through mass. Previous X-rays had shown a dense,
black mass.
Elbert said Daniel will continue chemotherapy if he has to, even
though he doesn't want to.
He said Daniel is feeling worse today than he was before the
court ordered him to undergo chemotherapy. Elbert also said Daniel
sought treatment from an acupuncturist once and has had massage,
which helps him feel better.
In an affidavit, Colleen Hauser said she seeks the court's
forgiveness for fleeing with her son and thanks the judge for
allowing Daniel to stay with the family after the two returned from
California.
"It is so important to Danny that he be surrounded by his
family," the affidavit read.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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