Authorities nationwide are on the lookout for a Minnesota mom and her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son who fled after refusing the chemotherapy that doctors say could save the boy's life.
Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, apparently left their southern Minnesota home sometime after a doctor's appointment and court-ordered X-ray on Monday showed his tumor had grown.
Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg, who had ruled last week that Daniel's parents were medically neglecting him, issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Colleen Hauser and ruled her in contempt of court. Rodenberg also ordered that Daniel be placed in foster care and immediately evaluated by a cancer specialist for treatment.
The boy's father, Anthony Hauser, testified he didn't know where his wife and son were but had made no attempt to find them. He testified he last saw his son Monday morning, and he saw his wife only briefly that evening when she said she was leaving "for a time."
"It's absolutely crazy. It's very disappointing," James Olson, the attorney representing Brown County Family Services. "We're trying to do what's right for this young man."
Daniel's Hodgkin's lymphoma is considered highly curable with chemotherapy and radiation, but the boy quit chemo after a single treatment. With his parents, he opted instead for "alternative medicines," citing religious beliefs. That led authorities to seek custody. Rodenberg last week ruled that Daniel's parents were medically neglecting their son.
The judge has said Daniel, who has a learning disability and cannot read, did not understand the risks and benefits of chemotherapy and didn't believe he was ill.
The Hausers are Roman Catholic and also believe in the "do no harm" philosophy of the Nemenhah Band, a Missouri-based religious group that believes in natural healing methods advocated by some American Indians.
Colleen Hauser testified earlier that she had been treating his cancer with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionized water and other natural alternatives.