In an update to this post, there has been movement on the PA House Bill 612 to license naturopaths. The bill was modified. Mustio’s smug reply to me about “passing overwhelmingly” only means that it’s back to the rules committee.
Relating to the right to practice naturopathic medicine; providing for the issuance of licenses and the suspension and revocation of licenses; providing for penalties; and making repeals.
There were some minor modifications made to the bill. You can see the revised version here.
It is not yet up for a vote. I’m not sure how long it will stay in this committee. This means there is time to write to your representatives with your opinion.
Please contact your legislators ESPECIALLY if you are a medical professional. If you know of a local or state professional organization, contact them to ask if they are aware of the bill. There is a vocal group pressing for this legislation and the reps probably feel there is no harm from it. They obviously don’t get that unscientific medicine is NOT good medicine. Regulating nonsense does not make it not nonsense.
Reminder: Here is the post on Science based medicine regarding the problems with the proposal.
Here is what I wrote to my Representative. Feel free to use what you would like in your message. It only takes few minutes; it’s your obligation to speak up.
Dear Representative __:
I am writing to express my strong opposition to House Bill 612 regarding the licensure of Naturopaths in Pennsylvania.
The bill was obviously written by naturopaths. I do not agree with the premise that the practice of naturopathy is in the public interest AT ALL so I’m unclear how you can differentiate good ones from bad ones through this licensing process. When the foundation is rotten, there is little point in fancy trappings.
Naturopaths, unlike medical doctors, do not use modern scientific findings and evidence-based procedures. For example, they subscribe to the pre-scientific idea of a life force for healing, they prescribe homeopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, neither of which have been shown to be effective treatments, and other implausible and unproven treatments. For example, they claim to be able to reposition human organs! This is impossible!
The most disturbing part of the bill is the opportunity for naturopaths to become primary care physicians. I urge you to examine the huge chasm of differences between the education, training and philosophy of medical doctors in the line of primary care with that of naturopaths. It is a disgrace to physicians to equate the two categories.
Procuring this status would allow them to conduct physical exams, well baby checkups, vaginal and protologic exams as diagnostic means for which they are not trained in the equivalent manor as physicians. Please be aware that any “accreditation” program for the PhD program for naturopathy IS NOT reflective of the quality, suitability or scientific legitimacy of the program.
Licensing naturopaths bestows upon them a false sense of legitimacy as a medical provider. That is foolish since they are not. Our modern world is one of science-based medicine, not magical mystery treatments.
Professional licensing, while having some merits to society for sure, it also abused as a way to fool the public into assuming more oversight and higher standards in the field are taking place. I feel that this attempt at licensure is doing just that. The naturopaths may opine that they are suitable to be primary care physicians, and as such, be reimbursed by insurance companies, this is a huge mistake.
What we need are more suitable, well-trained MEDICAL primary care physicians. Not to fill the gap in the health care system with well-meaning but ill-equipped staff whose practice is based on outmoded beliefs that do not work.
I ask that this Bill not be amended but rejected in its entirety.