‘The story of Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy from Minnesota with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, became tabloid fodder overnight. The boy and his mother are on the lam because the mother refuses, because of her beliefs, to authorize chemotherapy treatments for her son. Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 percent cure rate with chemotherapy, and a 95 percent chance of killing a person without it. Chemotherapy will likely save Daniel’s life, and as a pediatrician I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend it.
But I would also like to turn down the volume on the talk-radio chatter and outraged editorials. That’s because nobody seems to be talking about what it takes to beat Hodgkin’s (or any other cancer). What it takes is a grueling regimen that can indeed give even a dying person pause. In fact, the Hausers didn’t refuse chemotherapy outright. They defied doctors and a judge’s ruling only after Daniel experienced some of its violent effects following one round. If you don’t understand why, listen to my friend, Arun Ponnusamy, 36, who beat acute lymphocytic leukemia. “Surviving cancer is one thing,” he says. “Surviving chemotherapy is another thing entirely.” ‘
- Refusing Chemo: Can a 13-Year-Old Decide This? (abcnews.go.com)
- FNC’s Peter Johnson Makes Plea For Boy On Run To Get Chemo (mediabistro.com)
- Should The State Be Able To Order Chemo Treatment For A 13-Year-Old? (alan.com)
- Judge rules family can’t refuse chemo for boy (msnbc.msn.com)
- To Chemo or Not to Chemo? Not Your Choice if You’re 13 (Family Refusing for Religious Reasons) (healthmgmtrx.blogspot.com)