When do parental rights become neglect?

When does the freedom to raise our children according to what we think is best become endangerment or abuse?

Authorities nationwide are on the lookout for a mother 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 Monday doctor’s appointment and X-ray showed his tumor had grown.

Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg 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.

I feel for the parents. Cancer in a child must be heart-breaking, but chemotherapy is essentially a gamble in which you bet the poison injected into your son kills the tumor before it kills him.

On the other hand, can all of the doctors be wrong? Or is the opinion of doctors even relevant?

As with the case of the Texas raid on Warren Jeffs’ polygamous compound, watch for the government to use the sympathies of Americans, most of whom want this young man to live, to justify new restrictions on what decisions parents can make about the health of their children.

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