Religious Freedom Or Neglect?


Religious freedom is a cornerstone in the foundation of America, but when does it go too  far and when should the Government step in?

Daniel Hauser is 13 yrs old and has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With chemotherapy and radiation his chance of survival is 90%, without the medical treatment his chance of survival drops to 5%.

After a single Chemotherapy treatment, with his parents, Daniel opted instead for “alternative medicines,” citing religious beliefs.

The Hausers are Roman Catholic and they also follow the philosophy of the Nemenhah, a Native American healing practice (holistic medicine).

The State stepped in to try and save the boy’s life. A Minnesota judge ruled Friday that a family cannot refuse chemotherapy for their cancer stricken 13 year old son.

In his ruling, Judge Rodenberg wrote:

“Brown County Family services has demonstrated a compelling state interest in the life and welfare of Daniel Hauser sufficient to override the fundamental constitutional rights of both parents and Daniel to the free exercise of religion and the due process right of the parents to direct the religious and other upbringing of the child.”

Colleen and Anthony Hauser are supporting what they say is their son’s decision to instead treat the disease with nutritional supplements and other alternative treatments.

Colleen and her son Daniel are now on the run, an arrest warrant for Colleen has been issued.

One of the factors in the story is that Daniel has very limited reading and writing skills, so it’s argued that he doesn’t understand his decision.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jimney Cricket on May 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Talk about a controversial topic! Whew… I actually don’t know which side I would take. Forced to choose, I would say that the State has the right. It’s a difficult topic, to be certain- just hard to choose where to draw the line. It has to be somewhere, but it’s very fine when drawn, and very easy to move one way or the other.



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