Successful Missing People Search May Still Save Boy's Life

The nation watches as Minnesota mother Colleen Hauser and her 13-year-old son Daniel who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, continue running from authorities. There is a warrant out for her arrest and she's been found in contempt of court. The Housers are refusing the mandatory chemotherapy they feel is being imposed on them, but the doctors say it is the only hope for the boy's survival. His only hope is that authorities succeed at this missing people search and stop his mother in time to save him.

Although the Hauser family is Catholic, they also belong to the Nemenhah Band, a religious group founded in Missouri that practices the natural healing methods of the Native American ancestors. Under their guidance, Mrs. Hauser has been treating Daniel's cancer with natural alternatives.

Daniel has testified he believed chemotherapy would kill him and threatened to physically fight anyone who would try to force him to continue the treatments. However, Daniel is basing his convictions on his mother's faith; he doesn't even believe he is ill. He has learning disabilities and can't read, and he does not understand chemotherapy and why it is the only thing that can save his life. According to the family doctor, since Daniel abruptly stopped chemotherapy after one treatment, his X-ray showed his tumor returned to its original size. Since then, this people search has turned absolutely frenetic, since the boy's time is running out.

The father, Anthony Houser, has been cooperating with authorities but claims to not know where his wife and son are. He would like to see the authorities succeed with their people search so the case can be resolved and Daniel can receive appropriate treatment. He does appear somewhat bewildered by the whole ordeal: "Why does someone believe they have the right over your child?"

The answer can be found in a Minnesota statute that requires parents to provide necessary medical care for a child. This law specifically states that in cases of grave illness such as Daniel's, alternative health care methods aren't sufficient. Based on that, the Judge had ruled that the Hausers are medically neglecting their son and ordered that Daniel be placed in foster care and immediately evaluated by cancer specialists for immediate accelerated treatment. Now if they can only find him in time.