Jeremiah Alleman 0

Utah Freedom of Access to Alternative Healthcare Law

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Currently there are 9 states with such laws on the books. Idaho-1976, Oklahoma-1994, Minnesota-1999, California-2001, Rode Island-2003, Louisiana-2005, Arizona-2008, New Mexico-2009 and Colorado-2013.

Within these states one can practice alternative healing methods under certain restrictions without threat of prosecution.

To understand the need for this legislation we have to know that, in most states, unlicensed health-care providers are, at least technically, in violation of their state's Medical Practice Act. Consequently, they are subject to prosecution for practicing medicine without a license. This is because when legislation was originally written governing the practice of medicine, it was drafted so broadly as to prohibit anyone except licensed physicians from engaging in any healing practice.

This means that Native American healers, Mexican curanderos, Chinese herbalists, movement educators, yoga teachers, practitioners of naturopathy, homeopathy, Ayurvedic healing, massage and bodywork, and dozens of other unlicensed professions are in technical violation of the law any time they assess or evaluate a condition or when they suggest or perform a treatment on a client or student.

The fact that the medical boards do not often seek prosecution of every offender does not mean that there is not a problem. Even when medical boards choose not to prosecute, the net effect is an inhibitory cloud over unlicensed practitioners.

Many practitioners, like homeopaths who are recognized and operate freely in other countries, are often forced to work in clandestine fashion so as not to attract the attention and possible enforcement action on the part of the Medical Boards. In other cases it is simply a matter of these services, old and new, not being able to develop to their highest level of competency and professionalism. This, in turn, restricts the access of consumers who, in ever increasing numbers, seek out these services.

Therefore, it is imperative that we petition our representatives, that Alternative Health Practitioners may be protected within the law, thus providing greater Health options for the citizens of Utah.

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