May 15, 2009
When I originally saw this about the Nemenhah Band I thought it was something to do with competition for the Jonas Brothers market. Now that I've actually seen more about it, it;s worse than that. And it's so much worse than that that it stinks. The Nemenhah Band are scam artists, at least to the extent that the Nemenhah band are not simply sorely deluded lunatics, and it looks like a young boy is going to die as a result.
Now, OK, I admit it, I'm biased. That sounds like a bunch of kooks to me but in a free society everybody is allowed to follow their own path to kookiness.
The Internet is a funny thing. Perhaps Colleen Hauser, the mother of 13-year-old Danny, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, also looked a little deeper on the Web and discarded critical opinions about the group, the Nemenhah Band, but I doubt it.
Too bad, because Danny's life may depend on it.
If she had, she would have found case files in which Nemenhah's leader, Phillip (Cloudpiler) Landis, who submitted testimony in the case, had been convicted of fraud in two states. Or that another member of the band, James Mooney, won a case that allows him to claim religious exemption from law and sell drugs -- peyote.
Hmm....now these are the people I would want to be determining the medical treatment of my cancer stricken son. Not. But that's what the Nemenhah band are in fact doing:
In January, Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma -- a highly curable form of cancer. Doctors recommended six rounds of chemotherapy, but Daniel and his parents stopped after one round. Doctors later notified authorities after becoming concerned about Daniel's health.
The family says chemotherapy is against their religious beliefs. Although Catholic, the family is also members of the Native American religious organization called the Nemenhah Band.
Yup, kiddie's gonna die for the nutty beliefs of these fruit loops. The Nemenhah Band is almost as good as Tom Cruise and his stupidity about psychiatry. Poorer, but if they can suck in a few more cancer sufferers, perhaps not for all that much longer.
The judge commended the family's belief in natural healing and in the Nemenhah Band as "genuine and strong".
The judge cited several Minnesota statutes that require parents to provide "necessary medical care" to their children, and that "complementary and alternative health care" is not enough.
There is a real and important issue here, one that goes well above whether this particular teen lives or dies.
Daniel is 13. He is not competent. He is not competent to decide to drink beer, to get married, to join the Army, to vote.....he is a child and thus not competent. The question is, who is competent? Normally we would say his parents, but when they end up following the nuttiness of groups like the Nemenhah
Band we don't. We don't allow Christian Scientists to ban blood transfusions for their children, we don't allow the anti-vaccine nutballs to not vaccinate their children yet still send them to public school.
Nope, sorry, Daniel gets the chemo and then if he feels violated then when he's 18 he can make his own decisions. But while he's still a minor then others must take care of him.
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Yeah, these people... Total wackadoos. I consider myself to be a traditional Native American (I prefer NDN or just simply Muscogee), and I still go to the doctor when I need it. Yeah, I participate in traditional ceremonies and use traditional medicine, but I do that IN CONJUNCTION with my doctor visits, and with the knowledge and supervision of my doctor. For example : I am getting knee surgery this winter. Before the surgery, I will have a Micco (Creek Medicine Man) pray over me in hopes that the operation goes well. Lots of people have somebody pray for them when going in for a procedure, nothing crazy there. I wouldn't just pray and drink some herbal tea, and not go to the doctor, yet assume that my knees will heal themselves, because that would indeed be crazy.
Posted by: K. Shaw | May 21, 2009 9:40:34 PM
Danny Hauser is a thirteen year old young man who expressed his belief to the Nemenhah Band, not the other way around. The Band Constitution prohibits dictation of belief systems. Therefore, what Danny said God said to him, we must sustain, because we are a FED, State, Tribal and Band recognized Native American Traditional Organization with such a thing as a viable government. We have Holy Men and Women representing some 54 Fed and State Recognized Tribes that we answer to. Our constitution is strong and sets the standard for our actions.
Thirteen - the age makes him incompetent? But wait! There isn't a state in the nation where a thirteen year old girl is not considered competent to have an abortion, and in many states the girl doesn't even need her parent's permission or even knowledge of the act! No judge has the guts to go up against Roe v. Wade, right or wrong.
The Judge in this case himself is reported to have commented that if Danny had been sixteen, and had driven up to the courthouse with his own wheels, he could not have been considered incompetent. The "Driver's License is proof of competence." Really! That sounds pretty "kooky" to me, considering the number of sixteen year olds actually killed by their own driving on America's highways each year, and the people they take with them. By the way, that statistic is astronomically higher than the number of people who decide not to swallow the poison and die because of their kooky decision.
Quote Danny, "I would rather not take the chemo and die, and go live in Heaven with God and the Angels, than take the chemo and die, and go live in Hell with the Doctors and the Devils." That may sound kooky to you, but does it sound like the kind of comment an incompetent could come up with? Maybe you think it is, but may I remind you that the Psychology Experts the family brought to court, who were not even allowed to be heard, all agree that even with Danny's so-called disability, he cannot be called "incompetent" to determine his own religious beliefs.
Minnesota requires that parents provide adequate healthcare for their children. The family sought a physician who had been duly licensed and authorized by the State of Minnesota for "adequate healthcare." Notwithstanding his license, and the State of Minnesota's approval of his credentials and qualifications, the Hosptital declared him unqualified and on the strength of that, he was completely discounted. Danny did not come to the Nemenhah Band for any advice about his treatment. He received NO advice or counsel from the Band with regard to his cancer. I know this. I am the Elected Principle/Medicine Chief and such advice would have had to have come from me. He went to a qualified, licensed Doctor of Medicine. That little datum seems to have slipped by you.
Bottom line. Danny received what he thought was a revelation from God. He acted on it in accordance with what he thought was his right as a Minister of a Native American Traditional Religion. His attorney failed to defend his right to his religion and he was forced to take the chemo. Whatever the outcome, the Nemenhah Band promised to stand by him and his belief system because we are not out there trying to tell other people what is right and wrong, what is kooky or sane, as other extremists insist on doing.
In the end, the smart doctors had to take him off the chemo early again. Why? Because he started throwing blood clots. That's the reason they couldn't allow him to continue the first round. They were afraid he might DIE from the treatment. Danny didn't learn his belief system with regard to the actual effects of this course of treatment from the Nemenhah Band, he learned from the doctors and from personal, scary, life-threatening experience.
It is easy to fly off and ridicule thousands of people just becaus the don't share your beliefs. It is quite another to maintain some journalistic integrity, at least long enough to follow the thing to its conclusion.
The Doctors told the Judge that Danny would die without eight full sessions of chemo. The Judge believed them over all the other qualified testimony (from Medical Doctors I might add) to the contrary. Danny didn't even get through two complete rounds and now the Judge has reversed his position. Danny will not be required to take any more. The doctors were competent, but wrong.
Danny's mother took flight out of the country with her son, a felony which has been quietly forgotten. She took him in order to complete an alternative treatment that the competent doctors said would kill him. Now he's home and well. The competent doctors are baffled and cheated out of their fees, a sum that would have bankrupted the family. As it is, they had to mortgage the farm (literally) in order to pay an attorney to "represent" him and his interests in court.
I suspect that the Judge must be a little embarrassed as well, for believing the competent doctors in the first place. He has not required Danny to continue with the Chemo to date, and the CHIPS petition that made the matter a national issue in the first place is being appealed and could be in the process of being reconsidered. That, to people who are familiar with such principles, sounds a little like repentance. Kooky I know, but there you are.
So, what comprises competence? Thirteen years and the voice of God in your head (I guess there's strong medicine that will cure that kookiness too), or eight or so years of college and a couple years of residency? In this case, Danny is really the only one who can answer that question for us. Whatever he decides, the Nemenhah People will stand by him, thick or thin.
Posted by: Phillip Cloudpiler | Nov 30, 2009 3:37:49 AM