Daniel Hauser’s Run for the Border

Daniel Hauser is 13 years old. Remember that. It’s important.

Daniel is also at present, along with his mother, a “fugitive” from “justice” — defined by a court as the state’s putative authority to choose his medical treatments for him in opposition to his own choices and the choices of his parents.

Not surprisingly, the state’s court, when exercising that authority, has chosen to exercise it in favor of state-sanctioned monopolies on both the practice of medicine (state-licensed physicians who have effectively lobbied to exclude alternative practitioners from the market) and the provision of medication (“FDA approved” medications from Big Pharma versus remedies which don’t have politically connected backers willing and able to spend millions “convincing” bureaucrats of their safety and efficacy).

Daniel and his mother, Colleen Hauser, reject the state’s claim of authority in the matter of his medical decisions. Until earlier this week, that rejection took a relatively non-confrontational form: They argued their case in court. At some point, however, it became obvious to them that the game was rigged in favor of the state and its pets. Their choices would not be honored. The medical licensure lobby and the drug bureaucrats were going to make those choices for Daniel Hauser, and if necessary the state’s guns would be drawn on the Hauser family to ensure their compliance.

So, Daniel and Colleen Hauser ran. “Authorities” believe they’re headed for Mexico, where Daniel can get the treatments he has chosen instead of the treatments the state chose for him.

Good on them. Run, Daniel, run!

I’m not a doctor. I don’t play a doctor on TV, or even on the Internet. I don’t claim to know what treatment is most likely to prove effective versus Daniel Hauser’s cancer (Hodgkin’s lymphoma).

What I do know is that Daniel is 13 years old. If he’s in any way a normal adolescent boy, he’s faced life-or-death situations for years, on his own (or sometimes with his parents’ guidance), without a judge or police officer or doctor holding his hand. He’s crossed streets full of moving traffic. He’s looked over the edges of high places and decided not to jump. He’s seen the household chemicals under the sink and decided not to drink them.

That Daniel is still alive is pretty good evidence that he’s not completely incapable of thinking his own situations through and making his own decisions about those situations.

To some extent, the state obviously agrees: If Daniel found himself accused of a brutal murder, he could, if the state’s courts concurred, be “tried as an adult” for the crime.

But when Daniel rejects the recommendations of a state-licensed doctor (after, by the way, initially accepting those recommendations and experiencing their effects), he’s suddenly an incompetent child. When his parents, who have known and loved him for 13 years, and have managed to help him get through that 13 years alive, concur with him in that rejection, they’re suddenly incompetent adults.

Daniel’s story is not a medical story; it’s a political story. It’s not about Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chemotherapy; it’s about who’s in charge.

Randolph Bourne famously observed that “war is the health of the state.” The state, on the other hand, is the health of elites with the money to lobby it for monopolies and enforcement of those monopolies.

From its founding in 1847, the American Medical Association waged a 50-plus-year campaign to require state licensure for the practice of medicine in the United States, finally succeeding at the dawn of the 20th century. The Food and Drug Administration and its conversion into a bureaucratic monopoly preservation body soon followed.

The net effect of both organizations’ work hasn’t been to enhance the public’s safety. It’s been to cartelize health care and exclude competition.

AMA member doctors make more money than they could on the free market, because they guard the gates to the profession and the state puts their competitors in jail.

Pharmaceutical corporations rake in billions of dollars because they can afford to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on bureaucratic approvals, and because the state puts their competitors who can’t come up with that kind of baksheesh out of business.

The reason we’re hearing about Daniel Hauser isn’t that he suffers from Hodgkins’. The reason we’re hearing about Daniel Hauser is that he and his parents had the gall and temerity to question the authority of the state, and to threaten, even if only in a small way, the prerogatives of the state’s favored elites.

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