Notice to Alternative Practitioners, Midwives, Health Care Providers
In The State of North Carolina and Those Whose Wish Continued Care From These Providers
Since the last week in March 2011, Senate Bill 31 passed in House judiciary subcommittee B, and is now on its way for a final vote before the full House. If it passes there, it will be sent to Gov. Perdue and made law.
WHAT IS THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE?
The NC Medical Practices Act states that the practice of medicine and surgery includes:
“Offering or undertaking to prevent or diagnose Heal, correct, prescribe for, administer to, or treat in any manner or by any means, methods, or devices any disease, illness, pain, wound, fracture, infirmity, defect, or abnormal physical or mental condition of any individual, including the management of pregnancy or parturition.” See the Medical Practices Act for complete details of scope of medicine:
NC Senate Bill 31, entitled “Clarify Penalty Unauthorized Practice of Medicine http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S31v2.pdf
would change the penalty from a misdemeanor to a Class I felony.
- The NC Senate approved the bill in early March,
- The NC House Judiciary Subcommittee B approved the bill on March 30.
- The NC House of Representatives will vote on the bill Monday or Tuesday April 4 or 5. If approved, the Governor has 10 days to veto the bill.
- If this bill passes into law, it would infringe upon your right to choose and practice many forms of unlicensed complementary and alternative healthcare services that have a safe history.
A similar bill S144 was defeated in 2003 because of citizen opposition.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
NC LEGISLATIVE ALERT! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
TO OPPOSE SB 31. Discussion and Action Items Below:
The NC Medical Society wants to eliminate alternative practitioners in the state. Every few years the doctors introduce legislation that would make the “unauthorized practice of medicine” a felony in NC. This would threaten thousands of practitioners of natural and alternative health care therapies and their clients’ access to these therapies.
Like Codex Removing Health Care Freedom To Choose
Alternative practitioners are an easy target because they can be accused of “unauthorized practice of medicine” – a technical violation of the law and currently a misdemeanor. Why is it easy? Because the NC professional law defines “practice of medicine” so broadly that even recommending vitamin C to a stranger constitutes the “practice of medicine”.
Legal Reasons Don't Hold Water
But could doctors be merely protecting the public with this bill? What if impostors set up a medical practice without real medical degrees and pretend to be doctors? Would this bill not deter such activities? Not likely. First of all, in ten years only one such person was arrested. Even if that happened, existing tort law would have ample powers to put such impostors behind bars.
Covert Activities Against Alternative Practitioners
A clue can be found in the meeting minutes of a 1996 meeting of the Federation of State Medical Boards. “We need to reduce their [alternative practitioners] numbers,” was the explanation given for introducing draconian laws for “unauthorized medical practice”. As shown in the chiropractor’s lawsuit against the Wilks v AMA, the doctors tried to get rid of their competition by criminalizing chiropractic. In that lawsuit the AMA’s covert activities were considered violations of Anti-trust laws. The docs really are trying to get rid of the competition – alternative therapies.
Complementary and Alternative Health in U.S. Is Growing
About 50% of Americans see at least one alternative practitioner, and their numbers are rising. When the economy is slow, profits fall, even for medical doctors. The real reason why the doctors want to change the law and make it a little harder for their competition is merely a self-serving one. Protect your access to alternative treatment.
DO IT NOW. TELL THEM TO PLEASE VOTE NO TO S31 (or SB31)
And/or Attend the Meeting Tomorrow and Speak Out!
WHO TO CONTACT:
Judiciary Subcommittee B
House Standing Committee
Chairman Rep. Stam
Chairman Rep. Stevens
Members Rep. Bordsen, Rep. Bryant, Rep. Burr, Rep. Faircloth, Rep. Glazier, Rep. Guice, Rep. Haire,Rep. Hilton, Rep. Ingle, Rep. Martin, Rep. Michaux, Rep. Pridgen
Rep. Alice L. Bordsen 602 LOB ................ 919-733-5820
Rep. Angela R. Bryant 542 LOB................919-733-5878
Rep. Justin P. Burr 538 LOB................919-733-5908
Rep. John Faircloth 306A3 LOB................919-733-5877
Rep. Rick Glazier 1021 LB................919-733-5601
Rep. W. David Guice 528 LOB................919-715-4466
Rep. R. Phillip Haire 609 LOB................919-715-3005
Rep. Mark K. Hilton 1227 LB................919-733-5988
Rep. Dan W. Ingle 530 LOB................919-733-5905
Rep. Grier Martin 1219 LB................919-733-5758
Rep. Henry M. Michaux, Jr. 1220 LB................919-715-2528
Rep. G. L. Pridgen 2223 LB ................919-733-5821
Rep. Paul Stam 2301 LB ................919-733-2962 Paul.Stam@ncleg.net
Rep. Sarah Stevens 416A LOB ................919-715-1883
You can find your representatives here:
You are given several options to find your representatives.
WHERE TO ATTEND:
Judiciary Subcommittee B
House Standing Committee
North Carolina General Assembly
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Meets Wednesdays at 10:00 am in 421 LOB
Bills in Committee: H28, H52, H74, H149, H215, H259, H260, H312, H381, H395, S9, S31, S49, S77