29 Oct 2010

Mom & Son Flee From Police To Avoid Court Ordered Chemotherapy

BBC News - May 21, 2009

An alert has gone out to police forces across the US to search for a mother who fled with her cancer-stricken teenage son to avoid chemotherapy.

Before they ran away, Colleen Hauser had told a Minnesota judge she wished to treat her son Daniel's cancer with natural healing methods.

She failed to attend a court hearing on Tuesday after an x-ray showed Daniel, 13, had a tumour in his chest.

Doctors say he will probably die without conventional treatment.

He has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a highly curable form of cancer when treated with chemotherapy and radiation.

But he and his parents rejected chemotherapy after a single treatment, Colleen Hauser saying that putting toxic substances in his body violated the family's religious convictions.

Sheriff Rich Hoffmann in Brown County said that the boy's father, Anthony, was co-operating with investigators as an arrest warrant was issued for Mrs Hauser.

He was quoted by some US media outlets as saying the pair might be in California, heading for Mexico.

Court order

"I just wish we could get to Colleen and tell her to come in," said Sheriff Hoffmann.

"This is not going to go away. It's a court order."

Speaking at the family's farm near Sleepy Eye, a town of 3,500 about 80 miles (130km) from Minneapolis, Mr Hauser said his wife and son had left without telling him their plans, and that he had not heard from them.

He said he hoped his wife would either get their son treatment for his illness or would bring him home.

"If he's being cared for, and it's going to help him, I think it's going to be a good thing," he said, quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

Colleen Hauser said she had been treating the boy's cancer with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionised water and other natural alternatives.

She earlier told a judge she wished to treat the disease with methods advocated by an American Indian religious group known as the Nemenhah Band.

The group's founder said Mrs Hauser had made a mistake by running away from the law.

Phillip Cloudpiler Landis, who calls himself the Band's principal medicine chief, said: "You don't solve anything by disregarding the order of the judge."

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