On behalf of Christopher Hitchens, who thinks all of this skydaddy talk is ridiculous, thanks to all of you who wrote in to Goldblog to report that they would be praying for him as he undergoes treatment for esophageal cancer (you can hear him talk about his current predicament here). I would like to reiterate, of course, that Hitchens is still solidly atheist (strike that “still,” actually, because it implies his mind will change, which I don’t think will happen, at least, as he says, in reference to the mind we know today as Hitchens’s mind—what medicine does to his mind is a different story), but nevertheless I can report that he does not mock those who say they are praying on his behalf. What you could really, do, of course, if you’re interested in making Hitch happy, is buy this book.
As for the few of you who wrote to Goldblog to say they were praying for Hitch’s death, I can say that he does not care one way or another what you do or think or pray, but on behalf of myself and the entire team here at The Atlantic, let me just say, Go fuck yourselves.
I believe God will forgive me for that one.
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota teen who fled the state to avoid chemotherapy has finished his cancer treatment.
Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye underwent his final radiation session Friday, and his family says the 13-year-old is cancer-free.
Daniel gained national attention when he stopped treatment after one session in February and fled, citing his religious beliefs. After he returned, he underwent court-ordered chemo to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then started radiation therapy.
Family spokesman Dan Zwakman tells KSTP-TV everything is going as planned. A call to the family’s home from The Associated Press rang unanswered Saturday.
A Brown County judge has asked for reports from Brown County Family Services and Daniel’s doctor. If everything looks good, the case will likely be closed.
Let’s now stop and think about what would have happened if his idiot mother had stopped him from getting treated. He would likely be dead or about to die.
A 13-year-old boy with cancer who fled the state with his mother to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy has returned, Minnesota officials said today.
The arrest warrant issued for Daniel Hauser’s mother Colleen while they were on the run have been quashed, Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said at a press conference, but he would not discuss whether she might still face any charges.
On Sunday, Jennifer Keller, an attorney from Irvine, Calif., contacted the New Ulm Sheriff’s Department to let them know that Colleen and Daniel Hauser were ready to return to Minnesota.
“They were ready to come home,” Hoffman said, when asked why the mother and son had decided to end their flight. He declined to say where the two had been in the six days they were missing.
Daniel was immediately checked over by medical authorities upon his return today, Hoffman said, but he wouldn’t comment on the boy’s medical condition.
A federal arrest warrant had been issued for Colleen Hauser after she and Daniel left Minnesota May 19. The search for the pair had focused on Southern California, where they were reportedly spotted at least once, and Mexico, where it was suspected they might have gone to seek alternative treatments.
Doctors say Daniel has a cancerous tumor growing in his chest that is likely to kill him if he does not receive additional chemotherapy, but his family has said they prefer natural healing methods.
The U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI filed federal criminal charges Friday against Colleen Janet Hauser for fleeing with her son Daniel to avoid giving him chemotherapy for his cancer.
The federal criminal complaint noted that Hauser and her son flew on Sun Country Airlines from Minnesota to Los Angeles on May 19. The felony charge of fleeing from the state of Minnesota to avoid prosecution for deprivation of parental rights has been quashed.
The case became an international manhunt with Interpol being notified and U.S. Marshals being deployed to Mexico from the San Diego Field Office and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.
According to one source, the marshals and Mexican law enforcement officers were in Tijuana looking for Hauser and her son before their return to Minnesota.
Anthony Hauser, the father of the Minnesota teenager, had made a desperate plea for his son to return with his mother for court-ordered cancer chemotherapy treatment .
Standing at his Sleepy Eye, Minn., farm, Anthony Hauser last week had pleaded with his wife to come home “so we can decide as a family what Danny’s treatment should be.”
Did Mom Flee Out of Fear?
Authorities had said they believed Hauser and Daniel, were in Mexico — or trying to get there — to seek alternative treatments for the teen who suffers from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Hauser has said that he believes his wife saw X-rays of Daniel that made her scared and prompted her to flee.
“I know you’re scared and I feel that you left out of fear, maybe without thinking it all the way through,” Hauser said.
Authorities had promised Colleen Hauser in a May 21 press conference that they would not take law enforcement action if she showed “a good faith effort” to come back.
Colleen and Daniel Hauser were spotted in Southern California Tuesday morning, according to the Brown County Sheriff’s office, who said it was “reliable information” that has led them to believe the duo headed to Mexico to seek alternative cancer treatment.
The two had disappeared after a court rejected the boy’s request to refuse chemotherapy treatment for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma disease. Doctors said they believe Daniel will die without the treatment.
The Hausers have said that they would prefer a less rigid chemotherapy treatment combined with other alternative treatments.
The family is Roman Catholic and believes in the “do no harm” philosophy of the Nemenhah Band, a Missouri-based religious group that believes in natural healing methods.
The mother of 13-year-old Daniel Hauser testified Friday that she and her son would refuse to comply with any court order requiring the boy to resume chemotherapy for his cancer.
“Danny clearly made up his mind. He’s not doing it,” Colleen Hauser, of Sleepy Eye, Minn., testified on the opening day of a trial over whether a court should order the boy into medical treatment against the family’s wishes.
Hauser, whose son was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said conventional treatments such as chemotherapy conflict with the family’s religious beliefs. She said they prefer natural remedies such as herbs and vitamins.
Asked where she learned about the alternative healing techniques, Hauser said, “on the Internet.”
Daniel sat stoically through the opening part of the trial as his first oncologist, Dr. Bruce Bostrom of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, testified that his chances of survival would drop to 5 percent without treatment.
The boy left shortly afterward and never returned to the courtroom. He is scheduled to testify this morning in a closed session before the judge, after his lawyer said he was uncomfortable talking in open court. The case is expected to be finished today, and the judge said he didn’t expect to issue a ruling this weekend.
As a day of tense testimony began, dozens of family friends and supporters lined the courtroom, but the mood was subdued. At one point, a handful of natural-health advocates arrived with signs to show their support for the Hausers. But they were ordered to leave their placards outside the courthouse.
The Hausers declined to speak to reporters after Friday’s court session. But Dan Zwakman, a member of the Nemenhah religious group to which they belong, acted as the family spokesman. He argued that this is a case about religious freedom, noting that the group’s motto is “our religion is our medicine.”
AN AUSTRALIAN pastor who inspired hundreds of thousands of people with his fight against terminal cancer has admitted he faked his illness to hide an addiction to porn.
Police are now investigating disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci over the collection of public donations to his cancer cause.
The alarm is understood to have been raised by the Hillsong Church in Sydney which revealed the pastor’s hoax in an email.
His deception was so great his wife quit work to care for him, he forced himseld to vomit regularly at night and even lost his hair to fool his family and the public about the extent of his illness.
Guglielmucci, whose parents established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church, had earlier this year released a hit song, The Healer, which debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts and was featured on Sydney Hillsong church’s latest album.
It since has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Guglielmucci – more than 300,000 people have watched one performance on YouTube.
In a frank TV interview, Guglielmucci explained fabricating a terminal cancer battle to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.