B.C. ND Patients Against Censorship
As patients of naturopathic doctors (NDs) in British Columbia, our access to the full scope of naturopathic medicine is at risk.
Recently, new restrictions have prevented NDs from being able to provide their full scope of care as outlined in the Health Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c. 183; Health Professions General Regulations, B.C. Reg. 275 & 282/2008 (https://cnpbc.bc.ca/about-us/legislation-bylaws/)
Certain aspects of health are surprisingly, in the last 1.5 years, deemed out of scope, including:
- Discussion of the immune system in relation to COVID-19
- Discussion of Vitamin D3 (even with evidence supporting its efficacy and benefits) in relation to COVID-19
- Management of symptoms that fall under the criteria listed for COVID-19 (for e.g., “Red eye”)
At this time, uncensored discussions of available therapies and/or natural support of the immune system and/or symptom-focused therapies, in relation to COVID-19, is prohibited by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC).
Additionally, NDs are unable to provide any discussion around experimental interventions, which is in direct contravention to their role as primary health care providers. This includes informing the public of their available options.
As a result, patients of NDs have NO choice, but to only consult with their Medical Doctor. This is in contravention of each patient's rights and freedoms to choose alternate therapies, as well as full and informed consent.
We are very concerned about the impediment to our freedom of medical choice and the restrictions placed on our NDs, especially in cases where these NDs have been the primary source of support and strength in our individual health journeys.
Maintaining the full scope of naturopathic care would be in the best interest of serving the public and lessening the burden on the healthcare system.
As per CNPBC’s website, “The College protects the public interest by ensuring that naturopathic physicians in British Columbia practice safely, ethically, and competently.”
As per the above, CNPBC’s aim is to protect the public. At a time when NDs have a great opportunity to support the public and decrease the burden on the healthcare system, these restrictions directly impede these goals.
We call upon the CNPBC to safeguard the scope of practice and rescind the restrictions imposed on NDs that inhibit full scope of care, as described above.
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