THE BLOG
05/22/2009 10:32 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mom and son flee to avoid chemo

For most parents, the moment they first hold their newborns, they realize what lengths they might go to in order to protect their child. From fighting off lions to jumping in front of speeding cars, parents would be willing to battle any demon that they had to for the sake of their child's safety. Daniel Hauser's parents are no different. His mother genuinely believes that the chemotherapy treatments that might save his life could also destroy him.

Thirteen year old Daniel Hauser was diagnosed in January of 2009 with Hodgkin's lymphoma. His parents have decided, based on their religious beliefs, that Daniel's cancer would be treated better through the use of alternative medicines or alternatives in combination with chemotherapy.

While I practice in the field of alternative medicine and wholeheartedly believe in natural and preventative treatment, I also know that once a condition has become a reality in the human body (as contrasted to a state of "dis-ease" in the energy field surrounding the human body) an "all hands on deck" philosophy works best. At that point, I encourage the use of every resource available: medical doctor, surgeon, oncologist, nutritionist, acupuncturist, therapist, and so on. It can be quite difficult to undo a physical reality like cancer and I would be the last person to suggest reliance on "natural" means as the sole solution.

Even more significant, Daniel Hauser is a minor. He is a child who needs his parents to make informed choices for him. He evidently does not know how to read and may not understand the severity of his condition or how chemotherapy could likely help him beat back lymphoma. All he knows is how horrible he felt after the one chemotherapy treatment, which likely is the reason that he swears he'll fight back against getting any more chemo. It is indeed sad that the state has found it necessary to proceed with such a show of force; that only makes Daniel and his mother even more fearful.

What I want Daniel and his parents to know is that he has an extremely good chance at surviving his cancer and that the chemo can be given in the lowest dose possible. At Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota where Daniel was diagnosed, they even have a program which incorporates a variety of alternative treatment options that could help Daniel feel safer and also deal with the side effects of his chemotherapy.

I know that it cannot be easy to see your child sick as a direct result of medication, and I know that turning your trust over to someone else while denying your beliefs is enough to make anyone ill. With Daniel, however, his parents just don't have a choice. Parents of sick children must consult experts about viable treatment options available so they can make informed choices that may be contrary to their personal and religious beliefs.