US Boy Fleeing Chemotherapy Returns Home With Mother

by Gopalan on  May 26, 2009 at 1:40 PM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
 US Boy Fleeing Chemotherapy Returns Home With Mother
A 13-year-old US boy who sought to flee to Mexico spurning chemotherapy has since returned home along with his mother, under pressure from authorities. Arrest warrants against them are being recalled.

Doctors checked Daniel Hauser after the pair returned on a charter flight from an unnamed location, an official said.

Daniel had persistent cough, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes and was diagnosed in January as suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma. Court documents show doctors estimated the boy's chance of five-year remission with more chemotherapy, and possibly radiation, at 80 to 95 percent.

In February, the boy's cancer responded to an initial round of chemotherapy. But the treatment's side effects concerned the boy's parents, who opted not to pursue further chemotherapy and solicited other medical opinions.

Daniel and Colleen Hauser were last reported seen in Minnesota on May 18, a day after a doctor said the boy's Hodgkin's lymphoma was worsening. The family rejected standard treatment, opting instead for a holistic medical treatment based on Native American healing practices called Nemenhah.

Monday's homecoming came a day after Keller, an Orange County, California, attorney representing the pair, called the Brown County Sheriff's Office and told authorities that Colleen Hauser wanted to bring her son home.

"I think they wanted to come back home. They wanted to get together with their family and they were ready to be home," Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann told reporters. "It all turned out for the good."

Keller said she met Sunday with Hauser and her son in her office in Irvine after talking with them a couple of days earlier by telephone.

"He did not appear in pain. He was tired and anxious to get home," Keller said. "He didn't appear to be in any acute distress. He misses his home, he misses his family and he wanted to see his dad."

Colleen Hauser and her son arrived in Minnesota at 3 a.m. on a chartered flight paid for by a philanthropic group.

"We wanted him to be able to come back quietly, not have cameras in his face, not have people shouting questions at him, allow him to get back to the farm and his father and his siblings and some sense of a normal life," Keller said.

"He's a nice boy but he's been through a lot. He really deserves a chance at this point to get some rest and peace and quiet."

Brown County District Judge John R. Rodenberg issued an arrest warrant for Colleen Hauser last Tuesday, when she and her son failed to show up for a court hearing. Rodenberg, who said the boy's "best interests" require he receive conventional medical care, issued a contempt order for the mother and ordered Daniel placed in the custody of the Brown County Family Services agency.

But Hoffmann said Monday that the court, noting the return was voluntary, quashed the warrant for the mother's arrest. A federal fugitive warrant will also be dropped, he said.

Philip Elbert, Daniel's court-appointed attorney, said he considers his client to have a "diminished capacity" because of his age and the illness, and said he believes Daniel should be treated by a cancer specialist, CNN reported.

Source: Medindia

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