Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Daniel Hauser and Mother Fleeing Chemo

You may have heard of Daniel Hauser. He's a Minnesota boy who has cancer: Hodgkin's lymphoma, specifically. At this point, he and his mother, Colleen Hauser, are on the run. A judge issued an arrest warrant for her, and the hunt is on.

His parents - his mother, at any rate - apparently have religious objections to letting him get chemotherapy. That's too bad, because he's got a shot at living another five years (at least) with chemo - and maybe radiation - therapy. Court documents show that some doctors put his chances with "...chemotherapy and possibly radiation at 80 percent to 95 percent...." (CNN)

From everything I've read and heard, chemotherapy is no bed of roses. But, if I were in Daniel Hauser's shoes, I'd want a shot at living another five-years-plus. Particularly with his odds.

Faith, Medicine, Law, and Cultural Norms

The dominant culture in America having the values it does, I'm not entirely comfortable with a state judge overruling a parent's religious beliefs 'for the good of the child.' Particularly when the child is a teenager who agrees with the parent.

I do think that, in a case like this, avoiding a treatment that could buy at least several more years makes good sense.

What bothers me is the general situation of the state deciding what's an acceptable religious belief, and what isn't. Particularly when it's a judge doing the deciding. At this point in America's history, they're virtually immune from the sort of checks and balances we're taught about in civics class.
I Know - 'It Can't Happen Here'
Let's take a somewhat far-fetched example: say, not too many years from now, doctors report that a youngster will probably have trouble with acne, late in his teens. This could lead to great emotional trauma, since he'll probably have a zit the size of Massachusetts when it's prom time.

Obviously, the only humane thing to do is to put this child out of his misery.

Now, let's say that this boy's parents are religious people, and have some sort of religious objection over having a post-natal abortion performed.

'Obviously,' in this hypothetical society, the courts must override the parent's superstitious objections. For the good of the child.

Sound crazy? I think so: but I never did buy into that 'quality lifestyle' argument for abortion.

About seventy years ago, following another set of values, a group of very determined people tried to clean out Europe's gene pool. Killing people for the 'good of the race' isn't at all popular now, as a rule, in Western culture. Killing people 'for their own good,' on the other hand, is considered a virtue in some circles.

Maybe that hypothetical example isn't so crazy, after all.

What the Catholic Church Says About Health, Drugs, and Today's Medicine

There are some 'medical' treatments which the Catholic Church forbids. Even if someone isn't able to live a 'quality lifestyle,' doesn't measure up to our notion of what a normal person ought to be, or is in the way, we're not allowed to kill people. In other words, euthanasia is out. On the other hand, painkillers are quite all right to use: provided that they aren't used to kill the patient. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2276-2279) The Catholic Church also teaches that "the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine" is wrong. (Catechism, 2290)

That doesn't mean 'trusting God' and turning off our good sense. We're specifically required to be concerned about our own health, and the health of others. Society is supposed to be concerned with the availability of
  • Food and clothing
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Basic education
  • Employment
  • Social assistance
    (Catechism, 2288)
Organ transplants are okay, too. "...Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorous act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity...." (Catechism, 2296)

Chemotherapy? Radiation treatments? That's not a problem for practicing Catholics: providing that the benefit/risk ratio is right. The Catholic Church does not expect the faithful to turn off their brains. We're taught that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Counsel
  • Fortitude
  • Knowledge
  • Piety
  • Fear of the Lord
    (Catechism, 1831)
There's a bit about these gifts in Isaiah 11.

As for Daniel Hauser, I hope - and pray - that he gets the medical treatment he needs, and lives a full, good life. What you do is strictly up to you, of course: but I think that you doing the same couldn't hurt.

Related posts: In the news: Background:

1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

once they are removed or altered, there are bound to be some side effects. buy real xanax bars online

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More

Advertisement

Unique, innovative candles


Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.