Perhaps it's the large, trusting eyes and the smooth, bald head that make us want to believe in Daniel Hauser. He never speaks, but seems composed and mature in front of television cameras, a silent Buddha upon whom we can project wisdom.
Maybe that's why so many readers and talk-radio listeners were willing to believe that a 13-year-old boy could be a church elder and a medicine man; after all, he even has the papers to prove it. Maybe it's why they believed he could understand his own mortality and make hard decisions about his own health care.
Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
Not only could Daniel neither read nor understand the affidavit he signed saying he preferred "native" treatments over chemotherapy for his Hodgkin's lymphoma, but he also could not read. Period. When tested by his teacher for entrance into a charter school, according to court documents, Daniel, who had been home-schooled, could not identify the following word:
A court in New Ulm on Friday correctly decided that Hauser, or more accurately his parents, could not deny Daniel medical treatment that will likely cure him of a disease that would otherwise kill him. It is indeed distasteful to picture doctors restraining Daniel to give him chemotherapy. His parents can make sure that doesn't have to happen.
The only thing more distasteful, shameful really, would have been to let a frightened little boy elect to kill himself, to let his well-intentioned but misguided parents neglect him to death.
Alternative remedies have become almost mainstream, as most doctors encourage them in conjunction with the science and art of traditional medicine. But as Al Carroll, a Mescalero Apache professor, told me, Native Americans' biggest complaint is a lack of access to good modern medicine.
Most parents I know say they would practically sell their souls to save their child. I have no doubt the Hausers were doing what they thought was best. So I can only conclude they are being duped.
Click to view image: 'chemo kid'
|Liveleak on Facebook|