MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota judge has denied a request to seal the medical records of a 13-year-old boy who gained national attention when he fled the state last month to avoid chemotherapy to treat his Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg ruled this week that information about Daniel Hauser's condition and treatment have been public so far, so that information should remain public. He also noted that the boy's parents have spoken about the case in the media.
"It is impossible at this point to attempt to reverse course and keep all of those issues confidential," Rodenberg wrote in documents made available Thursday.
Rodenberg also ruled that because of interest in Daniel's case, the public would be best served by getting complete and accurate information.
Daniel was diagnosed with childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma in January and stopped chemotherapy after one round, opting for alternative treatments inspired by American Indian traditions. Doctors have said the type of cancer he has is highly curable with chemotherapy, so when he stopped, the issue ended up in court as a child protection case.
Rodenberg ultimately ordered that Daniel see an oncologist and follow the doctor's recommended treatment: chemotherapy.
The case gained national attention when Daniel and his mother fled Minnesota for about a week to avoid the chemotherapy. They were the subject of a search that extended into Mexico. The pair returned, saying they would abide by the court's order.
Daniel's medical records, which normally would be private, were disclosed in court filings and testimony. Last week, attorneys for the guardian ad litem asked that any new records be sealed.
Rodenberg noted in his ruling that an attorney for Daniel's parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser of Sleepy Eye, opposed the request, saying the family wants "a robust public discussion" about cancer treatments.
Recent X-rays show Daniel's tumor has shrunk significantly after two chemotherapy treatments, but that the side effects have left him weak and miserable, a family spokesman said last week.
Barbara Gislason, an attorney for the family, told the Star Tribune that Daniel started acupuncture and acupressure treatments in Mankato on Wednesday to control some of the side effects. Gislason also said the family has set up a fund to help with legal and medical costs.
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