By Elizabeth Dunbar
Daniel Hauser, of Sleepy Eye, has Hodgkin's lymphoma, and county authorities are accusing his parents of medical neglect for not following through with the chemotherapy and radiation treatment doctors have recommended.
Doctors testified in court last week that Daniel could have a 90 percent chance of being cured through chemotherapy and radiation. But they said there's a 95 percent chance of death if the family decides to forgo the treatment.
In written final arguments filed today, County Attorney James Olson asked the Judge John Rodenberg to order chemotherapy for the boy, who he says isn't mature enough to make his own medical decisions. Olson wrote that Daniel has a learning disability and cannot read, and he cited testimony from doctors who said it doesn't appear the boy understands the severity of his diagnosis.
Olson also raised questions about the Hausers' testimony that Daniel is a medicine man and elder in the Nemenhah church, a religious organization that advocates natural healing methods used by some Native Americans. Those titles are given to every member of the church over 13 years of age, Olson said.
"Daniel's testimony indicated that he does not have a complete understanding of what it means to be a medicine man or an elder," he wrote.
For more on the subject, see Phony "Band" Sells Healing.