I posted last week about Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy who has cancer. The family has been fighting a legal battle concerning the proper treatment for Daniel’s disease. A judge has ordered Daniel to be treated through chemotherapy if doctors feel that is the best course of action. Daniel and his parents have cited religious reasons for seeking alternative treatments for Daniel. The judge has stated that the parents are guilty of medical neglect and Daniel must be treated.
Well, this story is not over. It seems that Daniel and his mother have fled and are hiding to avoid undergoing the treatment prescribed by doctors and demanded by the judge. The mother now has a warrant out for her arrest.
How do you feel about this situation? How would you handle this if it were your child? Should the family decide the best way to treat Daniel? What exactly is “medical neglect” and how do we determine when someone is guilty of it? Surely there are true cases of neglect as well as families who have religious convictions concerning medical treatment. How do we distinguish between the two?