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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Sick Child and Mom on the Run; Pakistan Battling the Taliban; Other Risk Factors Can Worsen Swine Flu; Paying for Good Credit
Aired May 19, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news in a story as ethically explosive as they come. A 13-year-old Minnesota boy is missing. His name is Daniel Hauser, and he's believed to be on the run with his mother.
A judge today issued a warrant for her arrest. The same judge has ruled that Daniel is a victim of medical neglect by his parents. Daniel has cancer. Doctors say his time is running out, that without the treatments they prescribe, Daniel will die.
For months, Daniel and his parents have refused those treatments. They've said chemotherapy and radiation are poisons that go against their religious beliefs. Remember, Daniel is 13, a minor.
Tonight a new twist: the Associated Press reporting that Daniel's father has changed his mind and now agrees his son needs to be re- evaluated by a doctor. We'll get to the ethics and legal nuances in a moment.
But first, Randi Kaye has the back story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): take a good look at this boy. His name is Daniel Hauser. At just 13 years old, he's on the run; running from court-ordered treatment for his cancer. If the law doesn't find him soon, he could die.
Diagnosed in January with Hodgkin's lymphoma, doctors say he likely won't survive without chemotherapy and radiation. But that treatment is why he and his mom were a no-show at a welfare hearing for Daniel scheduled for this afternoon.
Daniel and his family were supposed to bring the results of his latest chest X-ray to court, but only the boy's father showed up. He told the judge he last saw his wife Monday evening. He said she left her cell phone behind, and he doesn't know where they are.
A family friend who came to support them was shocked.
DAN ZWAKMAN, HAUSER FAMILY FRIEND: This is probably a case of stress upon the family. They're not accustomed to this type of thing. And the courtroom is pretty intimidating for them. They're a close family that sticks pretty much to themselves. KAYE: Still, the judge late today ordered that Daniel be apprehended and issued an arrest warrant for his mom. This all stems from the family's beliefs. They are Roman Catholic but follow the beliefs of some Native Americans who only approve of natural healing.
COLLEEN HAUSER, MOTHER OF DANIEL HAUSER: It is our religious freedom and right to do this.
KAYE: So instead of chemotherapy, Daniel has been treated with herbal supplements, vitamins and ionized water. This was Daniel on the family farm not long before he disappeared.
DANIEL HAUSER, HAS HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA: I'm feeling really great lately.
KAYE: But Daniel's doctor said today his cancer has spread significantly. Last week Daniel's mom testified she didn't believe her son was in any medical danger, but the judge ruled Daniel had been medically neglected and against his parents' wishes, ordered Daniel to undergo chemotherapy.
C. HAUSER: We're a simple, honest family. We're not out to harm anybody. We never -- this is just our way of life, and why people want to infringe on it, I don't know.
KAYE: Daniel tried chemotherapy once but later told the judge he believes it would kill him. And that if anyone tried to force it on him, he'd punch and kick them. The judge ruled Daniel did not understand the treatment's benefits in part because his reading and writing skills are extremely limited.
(on camera): If and when Daniel is found, the judge ordered he be placed in protective custody so he can get proper medical treatment. Doctors have said Daniel had a 90 percent chance of survival with that treatment. Without it, they say, there's just a 5 percent chance he'll survive.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: So, the bottom line for Daniel, 90 percent chance of survival with treatment, 5 percent chance without. Daniel Hauser's story raises some difficult ethical questions and legal ones as well. Chiefly, when is the state obligated to step in to protect a child from parents who believe that they're doing the right thing?
Let's dig deeper with senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and joining us on the phone, medical ethicist, Art Caplan. Jeff, what's the legal precedent for something like this?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There actually are a lot of precedents, mostly involving Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and virtually all the time the court says what this mother is doing, while we sympathize with her pain, this is child abuse. This is the same thing... COOPER: She could do it for herself, but it's the fact that she's making that decision for a minor.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. This is a minor. He is not qualified to make this decision for himself. This is what it means to be a minor. Other people make your decisions for you, and you are not allowed to make this decision.
This is the same thing as if he got hit by a car blocking the ambulance and letting him bleed to death. There is no difference. And if need be, they have to take the kid away and strap him down and put -- and apply chemotherapy that way. It's horrible to think of, but it's life or death.
COOPER: Which is now what the judge is saying that they want to do.
Dr. Caplan, is this a tough call for you?
Clearly not having Art on the phone; we'll try to get him.
In terms of what would the mom be charged with if, in fact, she is found?
TOOBIN: Child neglect, child abuse. It is a form of assault. It's just -- you know, you are allowed to believe anything you want. And you are allowed to treat yourself in line with your own beliefs if you are an adult. But you can't impose religious beliefs on a child who has no other options.
COOPER: Let's see if we have Art Caplan. Dr. Caplan, is this a tough call for you?
ART CAPLAN, MEDICAL ETHICIST (via telephone): It's not a tough call for me, Anderson. I agree with Jeffrey.
I would add two things. When you compel treatment, it has to be something that's well-established and proven. This is. The chemotherapy success rate for the cancer that this boy has, if we can get it going soon, is about 95 percent. It's very, very good. You wouldn't push as hard if you had an experimental treatment or something that was iffy.
Other facts, if you look at the situation with the chemotherapy, the alternative the parents proposed is well known to have a success rate of zero. So, sometimes you can say, well, you know, the parents prefer surgery. We prefer chemo. Let's go with what they want first.
We've got a cure. You've got to move to save this child's life. Parental rights are strong, but they do have a limit when you're basically sacrificing your child for a religious belief that they themselves can't articulate.
COOPER: Dr. Caplan, though, it may be tough to actually give this boy treatment. He's saying he's going to kick and refuse, you know, and make it difficult for doctors to put any needles in him. How do you deal with that?
CAPLAN: Well, I'll tell you, I've seen these cases. What happens is, you've got the dad who's already started to come around and say maybe chemo. They'll work with a psychologist. They will try very hard to bring the boy around.
And I will tell you, Anderson, there's a lot of success in sort of swaying people once they understand and see one of their parents start to waver. I've never seen a case where you actually had to strap a child down and sedate them and administer chemotherapy that way. Could happen, but most of the time when parents begin to sort of change their minds and the dad is here, you get the kid to come on, too.
COOPER: Art, are you surprised to hear that maybe the dad is starting to change his mind, or you say that's what often happens in these cases?
CAPLAN: It often happens that way. When you're really up against it, and you start to realize the doctors are saying this is the cure and you've got to go with it pretty soon or you're going to miss the opportunity, one or both parents usually begin to waver.
One other point, Anderson, you can sometimes get a parent who holds out to work with you, saying you pray, you do the ceremonies, healing ceremonies you want, we'll do the chemo, we can work together. That sometimes brings them around, too.
COOPER: Jeff, if they continue to refuse treatment and this boy dies, God forbid, would the parents be charged?
TOOBIN: They could be. Oftentimes the prosecutors exercise their discretion and say, "Look, they've lost a child. They've suffered enough." But the point is not to, you know, prosecute later. It's to save the kid now. That's the focus of everybody's effort.
And what makes this case so excruciating is that you have a real cure here; 90-plus percent, and you have a zero percent chance for the others. As Art was saying, this one is a particularly easy case.
Sometimes you have cases where there's only a 10 percent chance of saving the child. And the parents just want to take the kid home and, you know, do hospice care. That's an understandable situation under circumstances. This is not. This is, as far as I'm concerned, just child abuse.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, Art Caplan, appreciate both of you joining us.
How far do you think parental rights should go? Should parents always have the final say over medical treatment for their kids? Or should the courts? Join the live chat happening now at ac360.com. I'm about to log on myself so I can talk with all of you.
Just ahead though, the Hausers aren't the first family to take on the courts over medical treatment and religious beliefs. Where do the courts tend to draw the line? We'll look at some past cases and we'll talk to the sheriff who's looking right now for Daniel and his mom, Colleen.
Also ahead tonight, Michael Vick's federal prison term, it is about to end. What's become of those dogs of his? Vick was doing time. His dogs were getting a second chance at life. We're going to show you how far one of those dogs has come.
Plus, France's first lady and former supermodel Carla Bruni has taken on the pope. She's so angry she says she's left the church. The question is why. We'll tell you ahead.
COOPER: Following our breaking news story, the search for 13- year-old Daniel Hauser and his mom, both believed to be on the run. A judge today issuing a warrant for her arrest, the same judge who ruled Daniel is a victim of medical neglect.
He has cancer. His parents and Daniel have been refusing chemotherapy for the boy. The AP, the Associated Press is now reporting that his father has changed his mind and agrees that Daniel needs medical attention. That is if he can be found.
Joining us now on the phone, Sheriff Rich Hoffmann of Brown County, Minnesota. Sheriff Hoffman, do you have any leads on where Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel, may be?
SHERIFF RICH HOFFMAN, BROWN COUNTY, MINNESOTA (via telephone): Not at this time. We are receiving a couple of leads here and there. We are following up on the ones we do receive. We are no closer than we were.
COOPER: Is Daniel's dad being cooperative in terms of saying, you know, other relatives who may live in the state or out of the state that they may go to?
HOFFMAN: We just spoke with Daniel's father, Anthony. And he is cooperative. He just shared with us that if his wife does make contact with him, he will call us. And that's where we stand.
COOPER: At this point, I mean, if the mom comes back, the search warrant specifies if the mom comes back, she won't be arrested, is that correct?
HOFFMAN: Well, yes. She has a chance to perjure (ph) herself the way it was ordered by the courts, if she produces Daniel Hauser.
COOPER: What does that mean, she has a chance to perjure (ph) herself?
HOFFMAN: That, you know, the warrant could be taken off her if she produces Daniel Hauser. But the longer this goes on, she's going to have to appear in front of the courts.
COOPER: I see. And do you expect -- what kind of resistance do you expect from her at this point, do you know?
HOFFMAN: I do not know. I know the father's been very cooperative with us. We met some of the -- Daniel's siblings, and they are all -- been very cooperative. As far as resistance with the mother, I do not know that.
COOPER: The fact that the dad seems to have, at least according to the Associated Press, maybe changed his mind or agreed that the boy should see a doctor, do you think that will encourage them to come forward?
HOFFMAN: I think it's going to help. I really do think it's going to help. I think he does see that it's in the best welfare of the child. And I think that if he does make contact with Colleen, that he will try and convince her.
COOPER: If people see these two anywhere where should they call? Where should they get information to?
HOFFMAN: They can either call their local law enforcement. Otherwise they could call us at Brown County Sheriff's Office in Newell, Minnesota. If you want the phone number, I certainly can give it to you.
COOPER: Sure. Why don't you give it out right now?
HOFFMAN: It would be 507-233-6700.
COOPER: All right. But they can also call any local law enforcement and alert them to their whereabouts? Sheriff Rich Hoffmann, good luck to you in Brown County, Minnesota. Appreciate your time tonight.
HOFFMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: No one is questioning that Daniel Hauser's mom believes she's acting in her son's best interest, but what if her best intentions prove deadly? It's a question, as Jeff mentioned, the courts have taken on before just a few years ago, in fact, in a case strikingly similar to the Hausers. Where the courts drew the line then?
Well, Tom Foreman goes "Up Close."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four years ago, Katie Wernicke walked out of a Houston hospital after being separated from her family by state authorities for five months because her parents would not approve radiation treatment for her Hodgkin's disease.
KATIE WERNICKE, HAS HODGKIN'S DISEASE: I do not need radiation treatment, and nobody asked me what I wanted. It's my body.
FOREMAN: Katie's parents believed the treatment could hurt her and wanted to pursue alternatives including specialized nutrition plans. A judge listened and overruled the state, saying the parents should decide.
DARRELL AZAR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY & PROTECTIVE SERVICES: We don't question the Wernickes' motives. We believe they want the best for their child. However, we had to disagree with their judgment. And all the medical experts who are involved here did as well.
FOREMAN: Over the past 20 years, numerous cases have pitted the beliefs of parents against authorities charged with protecting child welfare.
In Virginia, a family faced neglect charges for having their son's cancer treated with herbal remedies. The judge cleared the parents of neglect and allowed them to pursue alternative treatment.
In Idaho, a little girl was given an emergency spinal tap despite her parents' objections.
And in New York, Shirley Chang says she was twice taken from her mother over disputes about medical care. Today she is an outspoken critic of laws that give the state such power.
(on camera): That power comes from a World War II legal case. A Jehovah's Witness in Massachusetts was charged with violating labor laws for having her 9-year-old niece distribute religious pamphlets at night. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court where the justices said parents and guardians have rights, but when it comes to work and health, those rights are limited.
(voice-over): "The right to practice religious freedom," the court said, "does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable diseases or the latter to ill health or death;" a ruling that was decided by a single vote more than 60 years ago and remains controversial still.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Once again, if you have information about Daniel or Colleen Hauser, call the Brown County Sheriff's Department at 507-233- 6700 or any local law enforcement.
Up next, some new video from the front lines of Pakistan's war to keep the country and its nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of the Taliban. Right now, nearly 2 million refugees, internally displaced people, are on the move in Pakistan. We'll show you how you can help and get a live report from the capital.
Later, tightening the rules for credit card companies; they won't be able to jack up rates at a moment's notice or punish you for being just a day late to pay. But will they find other ways of making everyone pay even if you've got a good credit score? Stay tuned and find out. Plus, 47 million years old, 2 feet tall and with a tail. Is this the great-great-great-great-grandmother of us all?
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Well, the war in Pakistan has taken on a new phase, a very deadly phase. And, right now, the Pakistan government is finally taking on Taliban forces. But, tonight you're going to hear why so many observers say they aren't doing it -- or they are doing it all wrong.
Right now, about two million people have been forced out of their homes, fleeing the fighting.
Hillary Clinton today pledging emergency aid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I am announcing that the people of the United States are responding to a request for assistance from the government of Pakistan with more than $100 million in humanitarian support.
Now, this money comes on top of almost $60 million that the United States has provided since last August to help Pakistanis who have been affected by the conflict, and in addition to the other funding for Pakistan that we are already seeking from the Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Secretary Clinton also detailing how every American can send extra help by texting the word Swat, S-W-A-T, to the number 20222. That's "Swat" to 20222. Doing it will make a $5 donation to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Now, the Pakistani military is claiming major success against the Taliban, but, as you're going to hear in a moment from Fareed Zakaria and Peter Bergen, it doesn't seem as if they're telling it straight at all.
First, let's get the latest from Ivan Watson in Islamabad -- Ivan.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Pakistani military has been making some extraordinary claims that it has killed more than 1,000 Taliban militants in a little over three weeks -- pretty hard to believe.
However, they have finally issued some photos, some evidence, they say, to back up those claims. They gave CNN a series of photos too graphic to really show in entirety on TV that show the bodies of at least a dozen what they say are dead Taliban militants, also pictures of captured weapons and several captured militants. On top of that, they have released some footage of what they say are captured Taliban militants. And, as we can see in the video here, they look very different from those fighters that have emerged around the world, pictures of those Taliban militants with the masks on their faces, showing their weapons, looking very confident.
In some of these videos, we're seeing what look like boys, perhaps 15 years old, boys who are claiming that they were forced -- forced at gunpoint to join the Taliban, to train in some of the training camps which have now been under attack from the Taliban -- from the Pakistani military, rather -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ivan, it sounds like the numbers of refugees fleeing the fighting is -- is exploding, we're hearing up to two million people. What's the status there?
WATSON: Absolutely -- well, at least 1.5 million people, according to the United Nations, Anderson, in just under three weeks -- that's like the population of the entire city of Phoenix -- all fleeing down in such a short period of time.
It's the worst refugee crisis that Pakistan has seen since it was created in 1947. And the U.N. has started comparing it in its intensity to the genocide in Rwanda.
This massive number of people moving south, only a fraction of them are in camps, many of them are living in tenement housing, up to 50 people in a single room. It's really overwhelming for this society. It's going to put a lot of pressure here and a lot of strain on the Pakistani government, pressure on it domestically to try to follow through and score big in the weeks to come. Otherwise, this could be a potentially explosive situation here -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ivan Watson reporting.
We should point out, when Ivan says they're comparing it to the genocide in Rwanda, he's talking about the exodus of refugees from the genocide, which, at the time, was the largest mass movement of people in history. We're seeing equivalently huge amounts of people moving, on the move right now, tonight in Pakistan.
COOPER: The "Raw Politics" now with Fareed Zakaria, host of "GPS" here on CNN, also national security analyst Peter Bergen.
Fareed, the whole point of fighting an insurgency is to protect local communities. It's not to drive those local communities away. You have 1.5 million internally displaced people now, refugees, in Pakistan. Isn't that the exact opposite thing that the Pakistan government's supposed to be doing?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: You said it, Anderson. It's exactly right.
This is an approach to counterinsurgency that the Pakistani army is using that is widely discredited. It works in the short run, in that the bad guys also get on the run, and you drive them out of the area. But, as you said, you drive pretty much everyone out of the area. And, more importantly, you destroy local communities, local structures of governance, traditional sources of authority.
In other words, you create a kind of gangland atmosphere, which tends to be better for the Taliban than it is for the Pakistani government.
COOPER: Fareed, is there any accountability in Pakistan? The U.S. has already given billions in aid to Pakistan, pledged billions more. Do we have any idea how this money is being spent, or if it's, you know, being spent wisely?
ZAKARIA: Well, the Biden bill, the new aid that has been proposed or debated in the U.S. Congress right now, would come with substantial strings.
But, in the past, it has not. And the attitude of the Pakistani military is very much, "We are a professional, competent organization. Just write us checks and leave us alone."
I had President Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, on my show last Sunday. And his basic message was, "Just give us money. We know exactly what we need to do. We don't need to be trained in counterinsurgency."
COOPER: But, I mean, that's what Bernie Madoff said, you know?
And -- and, I mean, look how that turned out.
ZAKARIA: Well, and look at how this is turning out, as you say.
Look, I think we should be much more intrusive in our relationship with the Pakistani military. I think we have to operate through them. We have no option. We can't put troops on the ground there. And we shouldn't. But we have got to get more for our money.
COOPER: It's incredible, Peter, what Fareed is saying. Essentially, the Pakistanis are saying, "You know, we know what we're doing. Just give us the money."
It's not their money. And, you know, Peter, Admiral Mike Mullen confirmed that Pakistan is -- is growing its nuclear arsenal. They have about 60 -- 60 nuclear weapons. I guess they're trying to grow that. Do we even know if the money we're giving to Pakistan is being used to -- to maybe buy, you know, more nuclear weapons, or build more nuclear weapons?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: No, but we don't really know what happened with the $10 billion, exactly, that was already given to the Pakistani military. I mean, some of that...
COOPER: We don't know -- we don't know what's happened to $10 billion?
BERGEN: Well, we have a very foggy idea; let's put it that way.
BERGEN: You know, I think, you know, Ronald Reagan's "trust but verify" is probably the best approach. And, certainly, there will be some strings and benchmarks with some of the money that Fareed referenced that's going through Congress.
But as to the nuclear program, you know, this is the fastest- growing nuclear program in the world. And, you know, you don't use nuclear weapons against the Taliban, clearly, again, not a particularly smart use of the money for -- if you think, as most people do, that the Taliban are a genuine threat to the Pakistani military.
COOPER: We were just looking at some video -- and we will probably put it up again -- that we're -- that we're getting. We're seeing some alleged militants being apprehended by Pakistani forces. You see Pakistani soldiers doing something.
Is this basically just -- I mean, do we really have any idea what is happening on the ground in these areas, how effective the Pakistan military is being, Fareed?
ZAKARIA: No. You know, we have to go by what we can -- what we can gather from them, more than anything else, from U.S. intelligence as well.
But here's the core fact, Anderson. To date, the Pakistani military have not gone and mounted a sustained operation against the -- the Afghan Taliban, that is, the guys who sheltered Osama bin Laden. They're living in Quetta, which is in Pakistan. There has never been a serious campaign against them.
COOPER: I mean, you look at this video right now that we're showing, and, I mean, this is a ragtag bunch of -- of five or six guys. If that's -- I mean, if -- if these are the people they have rounded up, all the real people are still out there.
ZAKARIA: Yes. Well...
COOPER: I mean, look at these guys. These guys, you know, look -- I mean, where did they find these guys?
ZAKARIA: Well, where did they get their haircuts is my question.
COOPER: So, I mean, basically, the bottom line, Fareed, you're not optimistic about what's going on right now?
ZAKARIA: I am not optimistic.
You know, it's -- we have got to also be creative about understanding that we have got to get the Pakistani military to understand -- this is a losing game for them. They need stability. They need peace. They need prosperity. They don't need these options which allow them to destabilize their neighbors. To the extent we can get the Indians to lower the temperature that would be useful. It's a kind of strategic mind-shift that needs to take place in the region.
COOPER: Well, scary days, indeed.
Fareed Zakaria thanks.
And Peter Bergen as well -- Peter, thanks.
BERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next: Two more Americans die, and their deaths may be linked to swine flu. Tonight, some new information about what pre-existing conditions could make you more vulnerable.
Also, Michael Vick leaving prison tomorrow. The truth is, we don't care much what he does, but, tonight, we want to tell you how his dogs are doing now. And we have a special surprise coming up.
And an amazing discovery, a 47-million-year-old fossil that could be the missing link in human evolution. That's the picture of it. It's a discovery that some say will change everything.
COOPER: Still ahead tonight, the Senate passed a sweeping credit-card reform. But if you have good credit, you want to listen. We have bad news. You may end up paying more.
First, though, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a 16-month-old in New York and a 44-year-old in Missouri could be the latest swine flu victims in the U.S., both of them dying in the last 36 hours.
Meantime, the CDC today saying obesity may be as much of a risk factor for serious complications from the H1N1 virus as are diabetes, heart disease and pregnancy. Officials are basing that warning on a survey of people hospitalized for swine flu in California.
President Obama announcing tough new fuel standards today for automakers. The new passenger car guidelines increased fuel efficiency from roughly 22 to 39 miles per gallon, and that must be in place by 2016.
Senate Democrats announcing today they will not fund President Obama's efforts to close Guantanamo Bay, denying his request for $80 million. Party leaders say the president must first submit a plan detailing what he will do with prisoners when the facility closes. The decision is a blow to the president, who announced plans to close the base as one of his first official duties. And in New York, scientists unveiling the skeleton of a 47 million-year-old creature found in Germany. Named Ida, the creature is believed to be a female that died at about 10 months. While it is not a direct ancestor of monkeys and humans, scientists say it will, quote, "provide a window into primates' evolution."
COOPER: So cool. Amazing.
HILL: Ninety-five percent of that fossil was there, even the food in the stomach. They could tell what it had eaten.
COOPER: That's incredible.
We're having a really good discussion. I know, Erica, you've joined in on the live chat at AC360.com. You should join in at home. Talking about Daniel Hauser, the story which was our breaking news at the top, the boy with cancer whose mom has apparently taken him on the run. There's now an arrest warrant out for her.
A lot of people on the blog supportive of what Daniel's parents are doing.
HILL: They are.
COOPER: And saying that the government basically has no business. Let's take a look at two of these e-mails -- these blog comments on the live chat.
This one is from Matt. He writes, he says, "I live in Minnesota. Although I disagree with what the parents are doing, I think it's an issue the government should stay out of."
He goes on to say, "Where are the individual rights and the rights of parents to decide what they feel is the best interest of their child?"
We've also got another e-mail; this from a rabbi. Let's take a look at that one. Rabbi Gershon who says, "As a father who lost an 11-year-old daughter to leukemia in 1988, I think you have to allow the parents to go with what they believe in. I didn't, and I regret it." He goes on to say, "I went with science, and she died within days of the time that I had been told that she would. What if I had tried other methods?"
Again, the live chat happening now at AC360.com; a very lively discussion of people on all sides of this issue.
HILL: One other interesting point, too, that I've kind of been wondering about, and it's a question I haven't had answered yet. But Michael asking about when it comes to medical care and who pays. If the courts are forcing you to get this treatment for your child and yet you may not have the insurance or the money to cover it, how does that end up being paid for? That's a question I think a lot of people have been asking, as well.
COOPER: Yes, there's a lot of questions. One person pointed out that St. Jude's Children's Hospital will treat anybody, any child with cancer, regardless of their parents' ability to pay. But I'm not sure about the hospital that this child is going to be going to in Minnesota.
Let us know what you think. Again join the live chat at ac360.com. Why watch the program alone? Join in with the other viewers who are watching right now, and Erica and I on the blog, as well.
Coming up, the Senate cracks down on credit-card companies. Have you heard about that? It sounds -- it's good news for risky borrowers, no doubt about it. But if you have good credit, it could mean higher fees for you and an end to those lucrative rewards programs. We're going to tell you why.
Also tonight, former Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick: as his prison sentence for dog fighting comes to an end, we check in on the animals he once trained to fight for kill and sport. See how they are doing now. Some good and happy stories there.
Also French first lady Carla Bruni says she is furious with the pope. Why she's speaking out tonight.
COOPER: Tonight the Senate votes to overhaul the credit-card industry, but could the crackdown actually cost you money? With today's vote, the sweeping reform bill could pass the House and land on President Obama's desk before this weekend.
While reining in late fees and rate hikes is good news for troubled cardholders, it could mean added costs for you if you pay on time. We're talking, of course, about "Your Money and Your Future."
Joining us now is Peter Morici, professor of business at the University of Maryland, and Ed Mierzwinski, senior fellow for U.S. Public Interest Research Groups.
Ed, there is some good stuff in this bill for consumers, but the banking industry has a very dire warning. Let's take a look what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NESSA FEDDIS, AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION: A natural and inevitable consequence to the provisions is that credit cards are going to -- interest rates are going to go up across the board. They're going to be harder for people to get. Limits are going to be lower. And people who manage their credit well are going to end up paying for people who don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So is that true? I've heard that banks may start charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period. EDWARD MIERZWINSKI, CONSUMER ADVOCATE: First of all, Anderson, everything the banks are saying is based on the fact that they have been cheating their customers for the last five or ten years. The Federal Reserve, the House, the Senate and the president have all said no longer can you cheat your customers. I don't see the banks saying no more grace period on their best customers. People will stop using credit cards.
OOPER: You think they're bluffing basically?
MIERZWINSKI: Absolutely it's a bluff, and it's somewhat sour grapes. The banks have owned the Congress for 20 years. This is the first time we've won a bill. It's because they brought it on themselves.
And they didn't just raise the fees on high-risk customers. They tricked good customers into paying late. That's what's going to be illegal.
COOPER: Peter, do you agree with that? Do you think the banks are kind of -- well, not telling the truth here?
PETER MORICI, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Oh, I think that they are not telling the truth at all. The whole notion that they need to charge ordinary folks who pay on time more implies either that the -- they've been basically subsidizing ordinary folks with the very high rates and fees they charge people who fall behind quite a bit, or they're just bluffing.
There may be something else going on here, actually. You know, the banks are really in a lot of trouble. They're looking for ways to raise money. All of them saying this at the same time when in public it looks a little like price fixing to me. It's like all the airlines discussing raising their rates at the same time.
In the end of the day, though, I think what will happen is if they try this, there are 8,000 banks in the country. A few will peel off and start offering the good customers a separate deal. They'll kind of segregate the business so that different credit card companies will cover people with different levels of credit.
COOPER: It's interesting, Ed, though, because you hear from credit card companies saying, look, we don't make any money on people with good credit. That people who are paying their bills are not paying any interest. They're paying on time. We're not making the money off them. We've got to make our money somewhere.
MIERZWINSKI: Well, my answer to that, if they aren't making money, why do they give them the biggest and most rewards? They're making money anytime anybody uses a credit card or a debit card on fees from merchants. And when they make it harder to pay your bill on time and they raise your interest rate for being one minute late, they're making money hand over fist. They're making bad money instead of good money.
And that's why the credit cardholders' bill of rights is going to become the law of the land. They'll be forced to change their business model into one that's based on fairness rather than gotcha fees.
And there are a lot of people out there who have been punished by unfair practices. But the people who have good credit will not see their rates going up the way that my friend from the Bankers Association just alleged that they will.
They are, unfortunately, going up a little bit now. The banks are trying to get ahead of the new law. But they can't sustain it for a long time. People are going to get angry and stop using the cards.
COOPER: And Peter, bottom line on this bill, I mean, it cuts out those long fine print things you get on the bills, you have to use basically a microscope in order to read?
MORICI: Well, they're going to make credit-card agreements clearer. They won't be able to raise your rates unless you're 60 days late. They'll have to give you 45 days' notice when they do it. Generally speaking, rate increases will require -- general rate increases will require a waiting period.
What they won't be able to do is bait and switch so easily. They've been involved in some very insidious activities where they sign you up, they get you going, you develop a balance, and then they change the terms even though you're on time with your credit. You know, this is a riot.
COOPER: They've also been giving credit cards to, like, 5-year- old kids. That seems like an exaggeration, but they're basically going to make it a lot harder for young people to get credit cards on their own.
MORICI: Not only -- they're going to make it very difficult for 18- to 21-year-olds to get credit cards on their own. They're going to have to establish that they are independent and able to pay their own bills.
COOPER: Got it.
MORICI: Now, it will be interesting to see how they document that one.
COOPER: Right. We've got to leave it there. Peter Morici, appreciate your time, and Ed Mierzwinski, appreciate it as well. Thanks. We'll continue to talk about this in the weeks ahead.
Up next, what becomes of Michael Vick now that he's getting out of prison? What about those 51 dogs that he abused? We've got a furry "360 Follow" you'll be happy to see and a very special surprise to go with it. I'm excited.
We'll also tell you about charges against the only surviving pirate in the attack on the American freighter off Somalia.
Also, our "Shot." A shot by LeBron James that is so amazing, so seemingly impossible you'd think we did it with computer animation. We're not going to show you the end result. That's the "Shot." It's real. You'll only see it if you stay up. Stay with us. Be right back.
COOPER: Former Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick gets out of prison tomorrow after serving 19 months of a 23-month sentence for financing a dog fighting ring. He's going to do the rest of his time in home confinement.
The truth is we're more interested tonight in knowing what happened not with him but with the dogs he once groomed to live brutal lives and die grisly deaths. Luckily, we can report that most of those dogs are now doing amazingly better. Randi Kaye has the "360 Follow."
KAYE (voice-over): Don't let those sharp teeth fool you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're making a very scary face.
KAYE: That's Jhumpa, one of 51 pit bulls rescued from football great Michael Vick's dog fighting ring back in 2007. Two died of disease. Two others were put down. One for medical reasons, another too dangerous.
But the rest are thriving. They had to be socialized and housebroken, even taught how to walk upstairs. But today half of them are either in permanent homes or foster homes. The rest are in an animal sanctuary in Utah. None are in shelters.
And look at Jhumpa. She was adopted by Kathleen, who didn't want us to use her last name and now lives in New York. She has company, too: two other pit bulls, a black lab, a terrier and five cats.
KATHLEEN, JHUMPA'S OWNER: One of the things that brought her out of her shell so much was the other animals. And her learning from them and watching them and watching them trust me and learning that, you know, living in a home was actually a really good thing.
KAYE: Jhumpa lives the life of luxury. When she's not on the couch, she sleeps in her pink bed. She walks or runs about five miles a day and snacks on doggy bonbons. Her favorite, though, is cheese.
Jhumpa's owner says she's great with children and loves to be around people and other animals.
(on camera): Like the other pit bulls who were adopted by families, Jhumpa was closely evaluated to make sure it was safe for her to be around people, especially young kids. All she needed was time, Kathleen says, to understand the world is a better place than she'd known before.
KATHLEEN: The real truth of the matter is that she's taught me far more than I will ever teach her about repair and trust and growth and how, you know, how we can -- how we can aspire to things that are bigger and better than we had ever, ever imagined. So I'm very, very fortunate to have her in my life.
KAYE (voice-over): And just like Jhumpa, Kathleen says the man who abused her deserves a second chance, too.
KATHLEEN: I think that, in spite of everything he's done to these dogs, I think he deserves a second chance. And I think he needs a chance to show the world that he, too, can repair. I hope that he's -- I hope that he has the tools to do that.
KAYE: Michael Vick is already trying to make good. After his release, he'll be working with the Humane Society to help kids who have been involved in dog fighting and to prevent more from getting involved in it. No doubt, Jhumpa will be happy about that.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: And joining us now is Jhumpa and her adoptive mom, Kathleen.
So how old is Jhumpa?
KATHLEEN: She's about 4.
COOPER: And how much has she changed since you've had her?
KATHLEEN: Entirely. When she first came to live with us, she didn't do a lot of standing up like this at all. She crawled on her belly and kind of moved her eyes side to side. And it took her quite a while to figure out that she could trust the world around her.
COOPER: She's still kind of scared around strangers.
KATHLEEN: She's nervous. Yes, she still gets nervous.
COOPER: I have cheese in my hand, which is why she's being so friendly to me.
But you know, pit bulls get a bad wrap. I think they're great dogs.
KATHLEEN: They are. They're excellent dogs. They do get a bad rap. I mean, I think that when they get into the hands of people who want to do bad things with them, that -- you know, that they end up getting a reputation that doesn't at all represent the breed. The breed is a very friendly breed. And yes, they're very social.
COOPER: And how long did Michael Vick have her, do you know?
KATHLEEN: You know, we don't exactly know. I think she was about 2 1/2 when she came out of his -- came out of his yard.
COOPER: And had she already -- had she actually fought, or she was just being...
KATHLEEN: We don't know. We don't know.
She did come with some scarring on her back and her face and her legs, but that could have been because she was bred. We do think that she had a couple of litters before.
COOPER: And how do you rebuild confidence in a dog? I mean, how do you rebuild the trust?
KATHLEEN: Time. Time and experience and exposure to things like this and she gets out every single day on walks. And I socialize her. I take her to places where most people don't take their dogs. We do a lot of, you know, going into stores that allow dogs and things like that where she can get exposure to a lot of different kinds of people and experiences. Yes.
COOPER: I'm out of cheese.
KATHLEEN: Yes, I know.
COOPER: I think we're out of time. Thank you, Jhumpa. Thanks for coming by.
KATHLEEN: Thanks for having us.
COOPER: It's amazing. Great work.
We have a lot more to see online. Go to AC360.com and watch as 13 former Vick dogs journey across the country to new homes. See the challenges of traveling in an RV full of pit bulls. It's something to watch.
AC360.com is where you'll find that.
Coming up, the surviving pirate that hijacked an American container ship indicted today on multiple charges. We're going to tell you how much prison time he could face if found guilty.
And France's first lady Carla Bruni is taking on the pope. Find out why she is so angry and speaking out. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Ahead on 360, NBA star LeBron James with an incredible shot, all net, no backboard, not even on the court. We're going to show you in a moment.
First, Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, Bail now set at $1 million for the man accused of shooting to death the rapper Dolla, real name Rocky Burton. He was killed in an up-scale Los Angeles mall last night.
A "360 Follow" for you, the only surviving suspect in the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia has now been indicted in New York City on multiple charges, including piracy and hostage-taking. The teen could face life in prison if convicted.
French first lady Carla Bruni is taking shots at Pope Benedict XVI. The ex-supermodel, who has campaigned against AIDS, says the Pontiff's stance against condoms is damaging Africa and says she is so furious, she is no longer a practicing Catholic.
And the shopping spree for Sarah Palin -- all legal. The Federal Election Commission is dismissing a complaint over her $150,000 designer wardrobe during the race for the White House. You may recall those clothes were paid for by the Republican Party.
Well, the watchdog group argued that donor money shouldn't be used for personal expenses like clothing. The SEC, though, said that actually doesn't apply to political parties. Anderson, the clothes, you may recall, were all donated to charity.
COOPER: All right.
Well, time for our "Beat 360" winners now, our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a caption better than the one that we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog every day.
Tonight's picture, President Obama greeting California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during that White House press conference mentioned earlier, announcing fuel efficiency standards. You see Nancy Pelosi in the background.
Staff winner tonight, Kirk. His caption: "Nah, Tippi Hendren's harmless. It's the birds you've got to worry about."
COOPER: Viewer winner is David from Brookings, Oregon. His caption: "If loving a Democratic president is wrong, this is one Republican who doesn't want to be right."
HILL: Can you do that with a little more emotion?
COOPER: I should have done it with more of an Arnold accent actually.
David, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way. Congratulations.
Still ahead tonight, LeBron James makes sinking a basketball look easy. Wait until you see his latest shot. It's not the one he did on "60 Minutes," which was amazing. The question is, does the basketball superstar have competition outside the NBA? We'll check on that coming up.
COOPER: Tonight's "Shot" is literally an amazing shot, Erica. Basketball superstar LeBron James can sink a shot better than most; his skills on the court, of course, legendary. He was named MVP this year.
You might remember this shot back in March during a "60 Minutes" taping. Underhanded right there, boom. Now, if you think that was a fluke, take a look at this shot during a practice days ago. He shoots from behind the hoop, way behind the hoop, doesn't even break a sweat. Boom.
HILL: You know, that's pretty darn good, Anderson Cooper. I know what a big sports guy you are.
COOPER: Yes, yes.
HILL: I'll see your LeBron James, and I will raise you another basketball phenom with four legs. Meet Zeke.
HILL: A dog with some amazing moves on the court. He dribbles. There he goes. Handling the ball right there. And he can shoot, too. Check this out. Go for it, Zeke. I mean...
COOPER: That's cool.
HILL: Come on.
COOPER: From PetTube.com?
HILL: Pretty impressive.
COOPER: I have not seen that.
HILL: It's cute.
COOPER: Another angle.
HILL: It's very cute. Almost as cute as Jhumpa the dog, who was just here.
COOPER: That's amazing. All right. Good stuff.
You can watch all the most recent "Shots" at ac360.com and all that good stuff.
Hey, that does it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow night.
"LARRY KING" starts right now.