Save Daniel Hauser

JUST LAW AND RELIGION By Michael Kessler Colleen Hauser’s 13-year-old son Daniel drew a lucky card from the cancer deck. … Continued

JUST LAW AND RELIGION

By Michael Kessler

Colleen Hauser’s 13-year-old son Daniel drew a lucky card from the cancer deck. He was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Five-year survival rates are upwards of 95%. Treatment with basic chemotherapeutic regimens have made this disease highly treatable and survivable. While scary, his prognosis would be highly favorable if he received the standard treatments.

No cancer is good, of course. Cells mutate, reproduce wildly, and some are simply unstoppable. Chemotherapy and its aftermath is grueling. The standard side effects are usually awful. And even with the best treatment, some patients do not make it, as we all know. I have watched too many friends and family go down fighting to the end. My mom died two years ago from an extremely aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She tried everything over a sometimes agonizing eight-month battle, before her body ran out of energy to fight the invading, unwelcome lymphoma cells that took over her liver and other vital organs. She started out with less than 20% odds of surviving.

So Colleen Hauser and her son might have something to be reassured about–Hodgkin’s is not a grim, hopeless diagnosis. Yet, this may surprise you, Colleen Hauser and her son have gone missing. They failed to reappear before a court in New Ulm, Minnesota on Tuesday, a few days after the court rejected Daniel’s free exercise objections to chemotherapy.

Daniel claims to be a medicine man and after an initial round of chemotherapy (which reduced the size of the main site of lymphoma in his chest), he refused further treatment, even though the family sought and received 5 separate medical opinions from some of the best oncologists, all concurring that he had a great prognosis with the chemotherapy treatment but would likely die if left untreated. His doctors were required by Minnesota law to report him to the Brown County Family Services for deprivation of necessary medical care, which they did.

In ordering Minnesota to take medical guardianship of Daniel, the court described the family to have: “a genuine and strong belief in the benefits of holistic medicine and, specifically, in Nemenhah. Nemenhah is based upon Native American healing practices. Daniel is deemed to be a “medicine man” by Nemenhah and does not wish to receive any additional chemotherapy.”

Thus, the family’s interest is in refusing medical treatment based on the right of free exercise of religion. And the parents have a broad right to raise their child as they see fit. The question the court had to wrestle with was whether the state had a compelling enough reason to intervene and require Daniel to submit to the treatment, even in spite of the constitutional rights of his parents, and his own right to free exercise.

As for the religious beliefs, the judge found, based on numerous interviews and the report of Daniel’s Guardian ad Litem, that Daniel did not comprehend either the severity of his disease, nor the basic tenets of his faith.

The Court determined that Daniel thought the chemotherapy was making him sick, not the underlying disease, which he had little comprehension of. Further, it was clear that Daniel was not fully capable of making the decision for himself, since in spite of being “13 years of age, Daniel is unable to read. He does not know what the term ‘elder’ means, although he claims to be one. He knows he is a ‘medicine man’ under Nemenhah teachings, but is unable to identify how he became a medicine man or what teachings he has had to master to become one. He believes in the principle of ‘do no harm’ and attributes his belief to Nemenhah teachings.”

Worse, he appeared to be unable to provide these basic answers without turning to his mother. But Colleen Hauser, a Roman Catholic who recently adopted Nemenhah teachings last year, was ready to answer for him. She testified that she is attempting to “starve” his cancer using high pH water and a diet regimen based on her own internet research. Her belief in the Nemenhah principle of “do no harm,” leads her to believe that chemotherapy is poison, contrary to God’s intention for the natural healing of disease.

Minnesota’s interest, on the other hand, is clearly spelled out in law. Numerous Minnesota statutes mandate that parents provide “necessary medical care” for children and specifying that complementary and alternative medicines may not be sufficient substitutions, although may be used in unison with community standards of care. Thus the legislature has deemed that as a matter of public policy, parents like Colleen Hauser must provide standard and necessary care for ailments like Hodgkins lymphoma, using the commonly accepted chemotherapeutic treatment.

The Court judged rightly that the core conflict here was between Colleen’s free exercise of religion and the state’s interest in Daniel’s welfare. Had this been a case where Colleen was diagnosed with cancer, Minnesota could not force her to do anything. But Daniel, being unable to offer informed consent on his own, should not be at the total mercy of his mother’s religious beliefs. In this instance, they are a certain death sentence at the hands of another. It is insufficient that this other person who is asserting her religious beliefs is his mother.

The First Amendment does not stand as a Constitutional bulwark against Minnesota’s interventions into Daniel’s medical care. The traditional posture of the law of the US is to accord deference to religious belief, but not to exempt actions or duties unless they can be accommodated without harm. Under the principle carved out in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), there seems to be no substantial basis for religious exemptions to laws so long as the legislation is neutral and unbiased to particular religions and generally-applicable and binding on to all citizens. But Smith was about access to employment benefits (and about conduct that was prohibited by criminal law).

More to the point of parental deprivation of medical care, numerous cases support intervention, particularly the Minnesota case Lundman v. McKown, 530 N.W.2d 807 (Minn. App. 1995). And the Supreme Court has weighed in on what should happen when a child’s health is jeopardized by parental choices, in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944), a case that carved out authority for the government to protect the rights of children in spite of parental control: “The family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. And neither the rights of religion nor the rights of parenthood are beyond limitation…The right to practice religion freely does not include the right to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill-health or death…Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make that choice for themselves.”

While I would have tried to persuade her differently, my mom might have been reasonable to defer all treatment. She was an adult and could have come to a fully informed conclusion about the risks and benefits for treatment for a disease that was likely to kill her.

With a child like Daniel, particularly with the kind of highly treatable disease he has, it is not a parent’s place to martyr their own children. The state’s interest is very high in ensuring he receives adequate treatment.

Dr. Michael Kessler is Assistant Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University.

By Michael Kessler | 
May 22, 2009; 1:22 AM ET

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Just Law and Religion


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  • persiflage

    While conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers, it does have great success on many fronts – the treatment for Hodgkins Lymphona is well established and with a high success rate among children. The reluctance of some representatives of obsessively religious sects to participate in traditional medical treatment is based on a suspicion of medicine that is severely lacking in reasonable and well-studied considerations – instead, decisions are based on pure emotion, conditioned by skewed religious conditioning….powerful beyond all reasoning.I have seen several children cured of Hodgkins Lymphoma via bone marrow transplants and following chemotherapy.It’s truly unfortunate that an intelligent child is complicit in their inevitable death without treatment – subborned by a mother that has total emotional control over her son, in this case. Catholicism is not known for supporting such a bizarre mentality – although famous for supporting other unreasonable positions. The mother is clearly under the sway of a novel cultish thinking – one should ask what an expert in the original holistic medical tradition known as Ayurveda might do in such acase…or Christian Science, for that matter. The truth of the matter – Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science on Vedanta and Ayurveda…..with a Christian twist.The cure is very simple, but the will to participate is undermined by religion without insight……happens all the time.

  • persiflage

    While conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers, it does have great success on many fronts – the treatment for Hodgkins Lymphona is well established and with a high success rate among children. The reluctance of some representatives of obsessively religious sects to participate in traditional medical treatment is based on a suspicion of medicine that is severely lacking in reasonable and well-studied considerations – instead, decisions are based on pure emotion, conditioned by skewed religious conditioning….powerful beyond all reasoning.I have seen several children cured of Hodgkins Lymphoma via bone marrow transplants and following chemotherapy.It’s truly unfortunate that an intelligent child is complicit in their inevitable death without treatment – subborned by a mother that has total emotional control over her son, in this case. Catholicism is not known for supporting such a bizarre mentality – although famous for supporting other unreasonable positions. The mother is clearly under the sway of a novel cultish thinking – one should ask what an expert in the original holistic medical tradition known as Ayurveda might do in such acase…or Christian Science, for that matter. The truth of the matter – Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science on Vedanta and Ayurveda…..with a Christian twist.The cure is very simple, but the will to participate is undermined by religion without insight……happens all the time.

  • CCNL

    What!!! Take away the “mother’s” right to choose?????

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    From what I understand, the child complained bitterly about the harshness of his one treatment.The father has asked that treatment less devastating be provided. I hate to say this, but I have seen phycians completely indifferent to the suffering that cancer treatments cause, unknowledgeable about how to ameliorate it, and there are ways.From what I can gather, and much of this is blurred by spin, the mother reacted to the child’s pain. Although that doesn’t justify her conduct, I would like to know more about the child’s therapy, his response to it, and how the latter was managed by his physicians.

  • CCNL

    From Google:”Nemenhah BandFounded in the 1990s by Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis, the Nemenhah Band is a religious group that bases their teachings and practices on those of the ancient Native Americans. Tenets of the Nemenhah Band include a belief in spiritual adoption, as well as a belief in forgoing traditional medical treatments in favor of natural healing.” Add Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis to the list of crazy cult leaders like Jim Jones, Joe Smith, David Koresh and the Great “Babs” (strange founder of the Baha’ist cult).

  • asoders22

    First, a cult established in 1990, trying to revive ancient beliefs, is amateurish and has definitely not gathered enough wisdom to even try to “heal” anything. But most important is that Daniel has the right to treatment, and he is obviously not equipped to make an informed decision by himself. He doesn’t realize he will most likely die without it. And even if he were informed and wanted to decline treatment on religious grounds, a 13 year-old is not mature enough to grasp the consequences – and often has periods of strong religious devotion that do not last.I think the poster talking of neglect to give patients adequate pain relief has a point. Give him what it takes – including marijuana, which seems to be helpful in those circumstances. (No, I am not using any drugs myself and not in favour of free access to drugs.)

  • drzimmern

    With respect to the medical profession and those who have strong feelings about the issue, isn’t it the mother’s right to decide what kind of medical care she wants for her son? This IS the land of the free. I haven’t visited any other country which offers so much power to any profession as this one does to Medicine. Chemotherapy is a painful,destructive treatment and people fear it for good reason. Yes,it sometimes heals. I have also witnessed negative results. Forcing this family into something they are not required to do by law is a slippery slope legally.

  • journeyer58

    The ideal of treatment is to save the life of the child, but not at the cost of his health in the meantime. I have witnessed the effects of chemotherapy firsthand, having worked in a hospital and other facilities. While the principle of doing no harm has always been a part of the oath that doctors take upon appointment, they have become purveyors of the worst forms of poison and pain imaginable. Without the amelioration of complementary medicine, many more people will die and be forgotten in the race to enhance the prestige of the ‘Western’ medical profession.

  • lepidopteryx

    Chemo isn’t always the best possible treatment for cancer.One of my grandmothers was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and after taking one chemo treatment, decided that she would rather die of cancer than take more chemo.My other grandmother died of breast cancer after a year of chemo – in fact, she died in the middle of a treatment.A good friend of ours was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and decided that he wanted no part of any of the conventional treatments. He set about treating himself with diet changes, and in a year, was cancer-free.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    This is not to defend Mrs. Hauser. However, again, more needs to know more about the effects of chemo on the child, how the medical staff behaved toward him, etc.Of course, alternative therapies work. We’d know more about how well, how to make them more effective, if we weren’t handcuffed by Big Bucks Chemo.Money, along with the conservatism it brings, has long been a villian in medicine–Not News! One area worth considering now, in light of the Hauser case, concerns childhood epilepsy.Since the 1940s, Johns Hopkins has run a dietary program with nearly a 100% success rate for children so diagnosed. A couple of years ago, I saw a mini-documentary that followed a desperate family seeking help for their under-ten boy. At the point, where he had exhausted almost all medical options, his father discovered the Johns Hopkins clinic, to chich he brought his son, now free of epilepsy.When his primary care physician, who had seen the boy suffer for years with seizures and medical side effects, was asked if he knew about the problem, he admitted he did. What stopped him from referring the family?”Well,” he said, “somebody’s going to sell it to the drug companies.”Those were his exact words. I wrote them down. The other doctors who had treated the boy were not so forthcoming.Charlier1955′s link to the Boston Herald is worth a click.I wish young Daniel a long and healthy life. I hope that this case brings the Chemo Cash Cow the attention it has so long merited.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Corrections, in caps, to previous post:When his primary care physician, who had seen the boy suffer for years with seizures and medical side effects, was asked if he knew about JOHNS HOPKINS, he admitted he did. What stopped him from referring the family?”Well,” he said, “somebody’s going to HAVE TO sell it to the drug companies.”

  • CalSailor

    I can understand Daniel’s fear of treatments and his desire not to have to go through any more (he’s been through 1 round). I’ve been through two bouts of chemo, for a total of 15 rounds of chemo. It is not pleasant..at times it is painful, debilitating and just plain awful. Of course he doesn’t want to go through this any more.But Daniel is 13, an age when kids still don’t fully understand the finality of death; they still engage in “magical” thinking at times (If you don’t think so, try gounding your 13 year old kid for a week and see what the protests are), and don’t have the life experience to understand what he is giving up by his attitude. How can he measure his 13 years against perhaps 60 or 70 more years of life and all the expriences that come in a long life?If Daniel’s cancer was something like pancreatic cancer, which has an extremely low cure rate, then perhaps disavowal of treatment might be understandable. But his course of treatment is likely to produce decades of life. That is not something to dismiss lightly.How he was prepared to undergo treatment, how his concerns and his side effects were alleviated (or not) had a major impact on his attitude. But Daniel is simply reacting to his emtional needs of the moment, and his lack of understanding of the risks and benefits, as shown by his statements to date, indicate that he is not able to make a competent decision. Since his mother is (perhaps) responding to the suffering he experienced, has not been looking out for his own interests. The whole family needs a strong advocate, but ultimately, Daniel’s needs to overcome this disease, which will be fatal if not treated, have to take precedence. If you see a youngster playing with a loaded gun, or playing near an energized power line, do you not step in? Because it is a disease, and not an immediate safety issue, such as the power line, does not matter. Since the family will not intervene, the state must. Otherwise, Daniel will die. And he is not competent to evaluate it (after all, isn’t that the argument against the “death with dignity laws” that allow terminal adults to administer lethal meds…that people who are chronically ill, or severely depressed are not capable not make such a decision?) Daniel is less capable than an adult of several decades of life to make such a decision. Minnesota is acting to protect a minor child in danger of death. What higher obligation could it have?Pr Chris

  • persiflage

    Calsailor – you make an excellent point. A cancer diagnosis has to be approached on an individual case-by-case basis. Cancer happens to run in my family, generation by generation on my mother’s side – starting with her own mother. Over the last 50 years, I’ve lost a number of family members to cancer of various types. In one case, a female cousin exactly my age was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was kept alive for about 8 years with periodic bouts of chemo infusion therapy – I know she investigated alternative therapies, however, this cancer is generally fatal in the end. Her brother died of bladder cancer 3 months after his diagnosis. Both my daughter and her mother have both survived breast cancer – thus far. If breast cancer returns, it is generally metastatic – and with a very poor prognosis. My granddaughter has a potentially ominous future ahead of her. My own mother died of lung cancer 6 weeks after the diagnosis. I halted radiation therapy (over her doctor’s protests) when it was clearly making her life a living hell…and completely beside the point at that. He refused to admit that her cancer was terminal. I’ve been around cancer, and I am certain that we have no idea what we might do as regards treatment, until we have to make that decision for ourselves. I must agree that a 13 year-old boy is not capable of reasonably making the decision not to pursue conventional medical treatment for what will otherwise be a death sentence. The issues of allopathic vs homeopathic medicine are worthy of discussion, but when time is of the essence as it is with this boy, the state has little choice but to order conventional medical treatment on his behalf. They would be remiss to do otherwise.

  • persiflage

    Calsailor – you make an excellent point. A cancer diagnosis has to be approached on an individual case-by-case basis. Cancer happens to run in my family, generation by generation on my mother’s side – starting with her own mother. Over the last 50 years, I’ve lost a number of family members to cancer of various types. In one case, a female cousin exactly my age was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was kept alive for about 8 years with periodic bouts of chemo infusion therapy – I know she investigated alternative therapies, however, this cancer is generally fatal in the end. Her brother died of bladder cancer 3 months after his diagnosis. Both my daughter and her mother have both survived breast cancer – thus far. If breast cancer returns, it is generally metastatic – and with a very poor prognosis. My granddaughter has a potentially ominous future ahead of her. My own mother died of lung cancer 6 weeks after the diagnosis. I halted radiation therapy (over her doctor’s protests) when it was clearly making her life a living hell…and completely beside the point at that. He refused to admit that her cancer was terminal. I’ve been around cancer, and I am certain that we have no idea what we might do as regards treatment, until we have to make that decision for ourselves. I must agree that a 13 year-old boy is not capable of reasonably making the decision not to pursue conventional medical treatment for what will otherwise be a death sentence. The issues of allopathic vs homeopathic medicine are worthy of discussion, but when time is of the essence as it is with this boy, the state has little choice but to order conventional medical treatment on his behalf. They would be remiss to do otherwise.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Pr. Chris,I agree with you for the most part. My concern here is with the Cash Chemo business, as well as with the failure of many physicians to ameliorate the devastating effects of Chemo to the extent possible.As is the case with childhood epilepsy for which there are more than 100 drugs on the market, there may be alternatives to Cash Cow catastrophic illness approaches. My hope is that this case may bring some attention to this distinct possibilty.Childhood epilepsy is one hundred per cent curable with the approach taken at Johns Hopkins. (See my previous post.) Yet, anti-seizure medication, significantly, less effective, often carrying side effects, continues to be the overwhelmingly prescribed treatment.As a result, many childhood epileptics grow up to be adult epileptics. The importance of nutrition in cancer treatment is well known by oncologists, yet they receive next to no nutrition-related education.There is every reason to believe that excellent alternatives to chemo could be found, sparing the Daniels of this world, their parents, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of others, a treatment that, for some, is worse than the disease.

  • nunivek

    I find these two articles to be somewhat fascinating as they reveal the strong bias our society has against natural death. We literally waste tens of thousands of dollars on treatments that extend lives for months to be spent in excruciating pain and strapped to machines and isolated from the world around us. It is a deep reflection of the pathetic and selfish hyper-individualism of our society. How in the world is Chemo treatment, something that may be accessible to what less than 5 percent of the world population, a necessary treatment to insure that you are not neglecting your children? Tell that to the families who just cannot afford it. We are not able or willing to treat the world and it would just be silly to try. So to equate not extending chemotherapy with something like not feeding your children or abandoning them, is ridiculous! Its no surprise that in our society we are headed towards 50 percent of our GDP being spent on healthcare, we pretend that healthcare allows us to be immortal and we could care less that the gains that we receive are minuscule compared to the societal, economic, and relational costs.

  • CCNL

    Farnaz, Farnaz, Farnaz,Again, with your previous honesty issues, please give references to support your claims.

  • CalSailor

    Nunivek:You, of course are right, in that we have access to medical care which is, on the one hand, hugely expensive, and on the other, something which most of the world does not have access. For most of the world, this whole discussion would be in a (really!) foreign language.However, in this case, we have certain facts that are in play:1. Apparently access to treatment is not the issue; Daniel went through one round and then refused to go through another. 2. Our standards of acceptability for parenting reflect our national standards. In Ethiopia, this case would not even be part of reality; the parents would already have mourned Daniel (and, probably, most of whatever siblings he had) and moved on. In THIS country, though, providing care that is available is expected. It is something like refusing to have your child attend school. In our society, we expect that parents either home school their kids, enroll them in private school, or send them to public school. Not sending kids to school is unacceptable, even if the kid doesn’t want to go…3. Part of the national health care debate we need to engage in over the next few years (or months) is what SHOULD the standards of care be? In my opinion, as one who researched extensively the Canadian system, and who has military TRICARE coverage, there must be both a discussion of the nature of the system in terms of standards of care, and a frank discussions of what is going to be considered financially doable. The Canadian system, AS A MEDICAL SYSTEM, is generally accepted by Canadians as simple to access, and entitles them to the providers of their choice. The dissatisfaction comes with such things as wait times for MRIs and elective surgery. The Canadian system has (in effect) said we don’t consider a two month wait for knee replacement surgery excessive. However, those Canadians who don’t want the wait, are coming here for procedures, knowing that their system will pay for it. BUT, there is a trade off between having MRIs available on 24 hours notice, or one in the next two weeks: It may mean double the number of pieces of equipment, and therefore higher costs, not only for the equipment, but for medical personnel, etc.As we begin the debate in the US, we need to be frank about what we are willing to tolerate in terms of standards of availability. And, although “rationing” is a scare word already being used in the national health care debate, it will have to be a fact of life. Is everyone who has heart trouble a candidate for a transplant? If not, who not? Over 60? Over 80? With lung cancer? Other cancers? With diabetes? Those sorts of discussions need to happen, or we are going to demand rolls royce medical coverage. As the debate continues, and we look at other countries’ medical systems, we need to weigh whether giving everyone coverage to at least non-catastrophic (ie, for example, heart transplants) care is a higher priority than ensuring that some continue to get gold-plated medical care, while others get nothing? And what is the priority between lifestyle, and prevention, and maintenance, or no care except emergency rooms, when disease has progressed so that treatment is either futile or hugely expensive. Should their be a correlation between diet, exercise and qualification for medical care? How about the disabled (especially the severely disabled)? My 54 year old profoundly mentally disabled brother is on the one hand, on a high fat/low protein diet which has finally almost completely ended his many, many seizures, and on the other hand, on Lipitor. I’m really torn on this. What is his quality of life? Where do we say “enough”? In Jimmy’s case, do we doom him to life for whoeve much longer wracked by seizures, or do we do what we are doing…or stop the Lipitor, code his medical chart DNR, and wait for the heart attack? We also need to look at all kinds of treatment, and develop a research methodology that evaluates multiple treatments for the same diseases, and determines truly what is best. This is what has been talked about as “best practices” based treatment. But again, those with a vested interest in the status quo have been saying this means “rationing” health care. But until we compare treatments, and then disseminate clear modalities of what works and what does not, we will NEVER get health care to a level where we can fund truly universal coverage. And I believe anything less is a moral issue…and besides, which one of us wants to take the chance we will be one of the left out ones? As it stands now, the standards of health care vary widely in different parts of the country, and there is no necessary corollary to outcomes. Some treatments ARE less effective, even less cost-effective than others. The debate on medical care goes far beyond Daniel and his parents; perhaps it will be the beginning of a debate we should have had decades ago.Pr Chris

  • CalSailor

    A question: Have any others been having the same experiences that I have of some posts going into never-never land recently? I just wrote a post discussing what Nunivek posted, and it got sent…somewhere. This has happened a number of times recently, and none of my posts violate any terms of use. This is highly annoying!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Calsailor:”A question: Have any others been having the same experiences that I have of some posts going into never-never land recently? I just wrote a post discussing what Nunivek posted, and it got sent…somewhere. This has happened a number of times recently, and none of my posts violate any terms of use. This is highly annoying!”This hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve noticed that, sometimes, I don’t see posts until many hours after they’ve been submitted. Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    And as ccnl’s remaining brain cell struggles vainly for self-obsessed life, it thinks not of Daniel Hauser, of all the Daniel Hausers in this world, but, rather, asks:WWHD?What Would Hitler Do?

  • CCNL

    Farnaz, Farnaz, Farnaz,We see reality still escapes you. You might want to consult with what appears to be some of your on-line relatives about the subject?? i.e. Hmmm, could other relatives be DOUG_WHITE, Observer12, Observer31, Yael1, ivri5678, Billy8, nadinebatra, stadtbear, Spark1, Shark2, Spidermean3, FTH123, MANSOUR112, hsnkhwj ??? All cousins maybe??

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    CCNL,If you are posting as Shark2, then you just pasted from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, on Younis’s site.I believe you are he. Your antisemism is identical. Happily, web sites are monitored, especially newspaper web sites.Arguably, you will not be troubling any one anymore, at least, not on US soil.

  • nunivek

    Calsalior, I actually had that problem with the post that you were trying to reply to actually, I luckily was able to push the back button and for some reason it was not deleted thankfully. It is kind of strange, I have no idea why…

  • CCNL

    Farnaz, Farnaz, Farnaz,Hmmm, I see you are still playing the straw-man games. For the record, I am not Shark2 now or ever however he/she does show up on a list of your “friends” i.e. Observer12, Observer31, Yael1, ivri5678, Billy8, nadinebatra, stadtbear, Spark1, Shark2, Spidermean3, DOUG_WHITE, FTH123 MANSOUR112, hsnkhwj ?You need to be more careful in selecting your friends!!!

  • CalSailor

    NunivekI’ve forgotten in detail my initial post…the one that went to never-never land. It basically responded to the following quote you made:How in the world is Chemo treatment, something that may be accessible to what less than 5 percent of the world population, a necessary treatment to insure that you are not neglecting your children? Tell that to the families who just cannot afford it.I basically agreed with you that most of the world cannot afford the treatment that Daniel is supposed to be going through. But in this particular case, affordability is not the issue, since he apparently went through one round of treatment and refused any more.However, yes, most of the world cannot begin to afford the care that we take as basic standards of care in this country. The failure of Daniel’s parents to get him care has to be evaluated on the standards of care in the US…not in, say, Ethiopia, where he (and most of whatever number of) and his siblings would probably have died, their parents have mourned them and then gone on.AS we begin to have a national discussion of health care in this country, we need to ask a series of questions:1. Is having some citizens get gold plated medical care while others have access only to emergency room care, where diseases may have advanced so far that treatment would be futile to be preferred over all citizens getting access to basic (non-catastrophic, ie., transplants, for example) health care? If all citizens are entitled to health care as a moral issue, at what level? Is everyone with heart disease, for example, entitled to a heart transplant? Should there be an upper age limit? Or other diseases, say diabetes? What health care is effective? Different parts of our country have different standards of care, with non-statistically differnt outcomes, and yet, those opposed to single payer or governmental plan health care are already speaking out against any attempt to evaluate outcomes, with the intent of a standard of care, are accusing the government of “ratooning”I have severely mentally disabled brother in his mid 50s who is on a high fat, low protein diet that has, for the first time in his life, ended the many seizures per day that he experienced for 50+ years. And he is also on Lipitor for the resulting high cholestoral. Do we d/c the Lipitor and return him to a life of seizures? Do we simply code his file DNR and wait for the heart attack that will finally end his life. What is the family’s and the state’s obligation to him?We desperately need a discussion in the next months as to what is a reasonable health care system. I hope that discussion happens, and not that everyone with a stake in the status quo paralyzes the situation, so in the end, nothing happens, and nearly 50 million people go on without coverage. The costs in lives and quality of lives under this situation are truly horrendous.Pr Chris

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    CCNL/Shark2 is not exactly what you’d call creative. It is difficult for me to believe that any actual person could be as foolish as Shark2, except for a died in the wool racist like CCNL. In the past, this same “Shark2,” was taken on by a Hindu quite successfully: Deb Chatterjee. CCNL/Shark2 was, quite simply, outleagued. Wasn’t the first time. At the time, “Shark2″ was posting under another name. This time, however, CCNL/Shark2 has gone much, much too far.It is one thing to misrepresent sources, make false accusations, set people up and then claim THEY are using different monikers, be antisemitic, obsessively abuse one blogger because she is Jewish-the real reason- etc. It is quite another to post the Protocols on a Washingto Post web site.

  • Bios

    Why does the state have to intervene over the family’s decision? I mean, if the family believes in “whatever” and they take the wrong decision with their child, why should the state go so far as to judge what they are doing and resolve otherwise?

  • nunivek

    Calsailor,I guess what I am saying is that we are not actually paying for this standard of care we are stealing it. We don’t deserve it any more than others and if receiving healthcare is a moral issue than are we suggesting that the wealthiest 1 percent of the world(Westerners) must have a standard of care vastly above the rest of the world. I do have to say that I am not in a personal situation such as your family, and I do realize that what I am asking about healthcare is not an issue of abstract details but personal situations with lives and faces. We want to live longer and we want our families to live longer and better as well, I am not suggesting that this desire is unnatural, just that we often turn this pursuit into a sort of idolatry where the only thing of value is extending life. When we than as a society insist that procedures that are by far NOT universally accessible (and shouldn’t be universally accessible) be mandatory, we are duping ourselves into following this worship of modern medicine. I think your point about this particular case, that the family could afford the treatment since they had already done one round, is first of all an assumption, but I guess what I am interested in is not just what standard of care the government insists is neglect, but at what point are we going to sacrifice our desire for medical care with the reality that we just cannot pay for it (and what we are paying for now we do so unethically), and it is not going to get any cheaper.