Background information: Currently, eleven
states license naturopathic medicine (Alaska, Arizona, Conneticut, Hawaii,
Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington). Other
states have naturopathic licensing bills pending.
There’s some controversy in the
alternative health care community regarding naturopathic state licensing
bills. Naturopathic licensing bills apply to individuals who have received
a naturopathic doctorate from an accredited naturopathic university. These
schools are only available in states that currently license naturopathic
Those arguing in favor of these bills say
they are needed to allow ND’s that have been trained to do medical
practices (such as giving an intravenous drip (IV), stitching a wound, or
lancing a boil) the freedom to practice to the full scope of their
training. In states in which naturopathy is not licensed, ND’s are
prohibited from these practices - thus limiting the nature of the care
they can provide to individuals with advanced illness. This is especially
true in cancer care, in which IV’s with high concentrations of vitamin
C, antioxidants, and other immune system support supplements are commonly
Those arguing against these licensing bills
argue that most licensing bills include an exclusivity clause, which, if
the bill passes, would preclude other complementary and alternative health
care practitioners from practicing. This would include all traditionally
trained naturopaths, aroma-therapists, nutritionists, homeopaths, and
herbalists who have not graduated from an accredited naturopathic
university. In addition, opposition groups argue that the healing arts
should remain within the public domain, and that because most modalities
are extremely safe, their practice should not be subject to regulation.
Obviously, both groups have valid concerns.
Having said this, Cancer Cure Foundation includes mention here of the
California naturopathic licensing bill. For information on other state
licensing bills, see www.naturopathic.org.
California ND Licensing:
“The California Association of Naturopathic Physician’s (CANP's)
proposed legislation to license Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) to practice in
California was released in October 2001 in the form of a pre-print bill,
submitted by Senator Don Perata (D-Oakland). A pre-print bill allows the
CANP to negotiate details of the proposed legislation with various
stakeholders before formal introduction next session. The bill
accomplishes these major goals:”
1. “Defines the qualifications for a
practitioner to use the title Naturopathic Doctor/Physician.”
2. “Defines a scope of practice based on education and examination”
3. “Provides the ability to legally prevent, diagnose and treat
4. “Provides an independent practice status”
5. “Does not restrict access to any practitioner or therapy”
For more details, see the CANP website, www.canp.org.
Under S.B. 577
S.B. 577 Update December 2001
- “The CHFC made an excellent and well-received presentation of their
bill, SB577, during a Senate Hearing on alternative medicine that took
place on October 23 in Sacramento. CHFC secretary David Palmer first
presented the overall rationale and approach behind SB577. Namely, that as
long as a person does not perform a potentially dangerous medical
procedure or harm anyone, he or she should not be considered to be
practicing medicine without a license. In essence, SB577 would narrow the
scope of the Medical Practice Act -- which currently covers anything that
anyone could possibly do to heal someone -- to only those medical
practices that are potentially dangerous. David's presentation was
followed by that of board member Amy Lansky, who described her son's
recovery from autism due to homeopathic treatment. Amy made a strong and
stirring case for how alternative healing therapies are truly needed in
“The October 23 hearing was called by
Senator Liz Figueroa, chair of the Senate Business and Professions
Committee -- the committee that regulates medical practice in the state.
She initiated the hearing because she has strong interest in complementary
and alternative medicine and recognizes that there are currently problems
surrounding this issue in California. During the hearing, testimony was
given by various groups including: the naturopathic physicians who are
seeking a licensing law for their form of practice; groups who are opposed
to licensing approaches to alternative medicine; the CHFC; insurance
industry representatives; and a few doctors who feel they have been
unfairly prosecuted by the medical board because they use alternative
methods.” (from the chfc web-stie)
The CHFC expects SB 577 to be reviewed by
the Senate Business and Professions Committee in late January/early
February 2002. See the CHFC website for more details - www.californiahealthfreedom.org.
S.B. 2100 Update December 2001 - California
Citizens for Health presented testimony at the October 23rd
California Senate Business & Professional Committee Hearing on
Alternative Medicine. (This was an informational hearing organized by
Senator Liz Figueroa’s office and included testimony from a number of
groups on a range of issues related to alternative medicine in California.
(e.g. MD right to practice alternative medicine (SB2100), naturopathic
physician licensing, and narrowing the scope of the Medical Practice Act
(SB 577). Most likely additional informational hearings on legislative
issues related to alternative medicine in California will follow in the
coming year. To order a videotape of the hearing, see www.citizenshealth.org/video.htm.
California Citizens for Health also
submitted a list of recommendations to the California Joint Legislative
Sunset Review Committee on December 4, 2001. The recommendations pertain
to the California Medical Board’s policies for dealing with physicians
in private practice that are using alternative methods. For details, see www.citizenshealth.org/recommend.htm.
Licensed practitioners granted freedom to
provide complementary and alternative therapies (enacted March, 2001):
Senate bill1324 passed both houses after a
barnstorm session of committee hearings and votes. House bill 1077 by Rep.
Connie Mack and Senate bill1324 by Senator Durell Peaden, M.D. were
introduced on 3/9/01. Senator Charlie Clary Co-Sponsored. (Both Senators
Peaden and Clary serve on the Senate Health, Aging, and Long-Term Care
Committee, and Senator Clary chaired the Committee for the past two
Special thanks to Julie Hilton, a
lawyer/mediator turned lobbyist in the crunch, and to Florida Citizens for
Senate bill 1324 authorizes provision of
and access to complementary or alternative health care treatments;
requires patients to be provided with certain information regarding such
treatments; revises Florida’s Patient's Bill of Rights &
Responsibilities to include right to access any mode of treatment patient
The new law requires that practitioners
offering alternative treatments disclose specific information to their
patients before providing care:
“(3) COMMUNICATION OF TREATMENT
ALTERNATIVES.--A health care practitioner who offers to provide a patient
with a complementary or alternative health care treatment must inform the
patient of the nature of the treatment and must explain the benefits and
risks associated with the treatment to the extent necessary for the
patient to make an informed and prudent decision regarding such treatment
option. In compliance with this subsection: “
”(a) The health care practitioner must inform the patient of the
practitioner's education, experience, and credentials in relation to the
complementary or alternative health care treatment option.”
”(b) The health care practitioner may, in his or her discretion,
communicate the information orally or in written form directly to the
patient or to the patient's legal representative.”
”(c) The health care practitioner may, in his or her discretion and
without restriction, recommend any mode of treatment that is, in his or
her judgment, in the best interests of the patient, including
complementary or alternative health care treatments, in accordance with
the provisions of his or her license.”
To view the full text for the bill, see www.faim.org/news.htm#FL.
On May 11th, 2000, Governor Jesse Ventura signed the Complementary and
Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access bill into law.
This law grants a right of practice
for unlicensed complementary health care providers. It also provides
enforcement mechanisms to protect the public from fraud and harm.
The law requires complementary health care
providers to present a patient bill of rights to their patients, as well
as disclose in writing background information about their training and
practice. The law went into effect in Minnesota as of July, 2001.
Special thanks to attorney Diane Miller and
Advocate Jerry Johnson for their efforts in getting this bill written,
negotiated and passed.
For further information or to view the text
of the bill, see http://www.minnesotanaturalhealth.org.
MN Natural Health Coalition,
3236 17th Ave. South, #1
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Conflict between the NV Board of
Homeopathic Medical Examiners and the NV State Board of Medical Examiners
has resulted in Regulations by the regular board to allow their licensees,
MDs, DOs and physician assistants, to use CAM therapies under certain
In early Spring, the Homeopathic Board
proposed regulations that would have expanded the scope of
"homeopathic" practices overseen by that Board to include a
number of CAM therapies other than Hahnamanian homeopathy, such as EDTA
Chelation, herbal, vitamin and nutritional treatments, along with 'trigger
point,' 'thought field' and many other therapies.
Public debate resulted in the regular board
appealing the homeopathic board's regulations to the legislature. On
August 22, 2000 a legislative committee overturned the Homeopathic Board's
regulations ruling that the regulations went beyond the scope of
traditional homeopathy and exceeded the intention of law.
Meanwhile, the regular Board reviewed their
regulations and replaced a provision prohibiting treatment "in a
manner not recognized scientifically as being beneficial" with new
provision permitting CAM under several conditions, among them:
· A licensee shall not practice
medicine by utilizing any means or instrumentality that has a risk for
a patient that is unreasonably greater than the means or
instrumentality ordinarily utilized by physicians in good standing
practicing in the same specialty or field or that is provided as a
substitute for conventional treatment that has proven to be of
substantial benefit to the patient.
· Prior to offering advice about the
means or instrumentality of treatment, the licensee shall undertake an
assessment of the patient. This assessment should include but not be
limited to, conventional methods of diagnosis ordinarily utilized by
physicians in good standing practicing in the same specialty or field,
and may include non-conventional methods of diagnosis which shall be
documented in the patient’s chart.
· Documentation as to whether such
conventional treatment options ordinarily utilized by physicians in
good standing practicing in the same specialty or field have been
discussed with the patient and shall include referral input, if
To view the complete text for the
regulations, see www.faim.org/states.htm#NV.
The Ohio health freedom bill was signed
into law on July 10, 2000 by Governor Bob Taft. House
Bill 90 http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=123_HB_90
by Rep. George Terwilleger (R), passed the Ohio House of Representatives
88-0 on October 13, 1999. It has now been replaced by the Senate version
of the bill SB 125, by Charles Horn (R) which passed the Senate on
May 24. On May 25 the House concurred to the senate version. The new law
reads as follows:
AN INDIVIDUAL AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE
MEDICINE AND SURGERY OR OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE AND SURGERY MAY USE
ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL TREATMENTS IF THE PHYSICIAN PROVIDES THE NECESSARY
INFORMATION IN ORDER TO OBTAIN INFORMED CONSENT FROM THE PATIENT AND
THE TREATMENT MEETS THE STANDARDS ENFORCED BY THE STATE MEDICAL BOARD
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4731.22 OF THE REVISED CODE AND ANY RULES ADOPTED
BY THE BOARD.
AS USED IN THIS SECTION,
"ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT" MEANS CARE THAT IS
COMPLIMENTARY TO OR DIFFERS FROM CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL CARE BUT IS
REASONABLE WHEN THE BENEFITS AND RISKS OF THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL
TREATMENT AND THE CONVENTIONAL CARE ARE COMPARED.
Special thanks to Ohio lobbyist Thomas
Supporters had presented in favor of HB.90
in three hearings before the House Health Retirement and Aging Committee
which amended the bill before reporting it for a floor vote in the house.
Opponents provided testimony as well on two occasions.
In the last session, Terwilliger introduced
HB772 and Nancy Chiles Dix (R, Athens), vice chair of the Senate Energy,
Natural Resources & Environment Committee introduced the companion
Senate bill SB138.
The legislation was advocated by the Ohio
Coalition for Patient's Rights (OCPR), which includes several groups,
among them the nation's oldest continuous state Homeopathic Medical
For more information, contact the OCPR.
Ohio Coalition for Patient's Rights
P.O. Box 14
Bluffton, Ohio 15817
The Lousiana legislature passed a statute
in July 1999 which authorizes the use of chelating agents and chelation
thearapy by licensed physicians. To view the text of the statue, see www.faim.org/states.htm#la.
The Professions and Occupations statute for
South Dakota was modified in July of 1993 to allow for physicians to
practice chelation. To view the text of the statute, see www.faim.org/states.htm#sd.