Michigan Senate Passes Naturopathy Bill

The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that would legitimize naturopathy as a legitimate alternative to science-based medicine. It would establish a board of “alternative medicine experts” to grant licenses, putting the official stamp of approval of the state on a wide range of useless and sometimes dangerous “treatments.”

CFI and CFI-Michigan, on whose board I sit, are responding to the bill:

SB 826, which passed the Michigan Senate 24 to 10 on May 17th, creates a license-granting board made up of alternative medicine practitioners to bestow the state’s formal approval upon naturopaths, allowing them to perform physical examinations on patients, order and perform clinical tests, treat lacerations, and prescribe scientifically unproven—and often dangerous—treatments ranging from homeopathy and hydrotherapy to musculoskeletal manipulation.

“This bill is dangerous because it legitimizes fake medicine,” said Jennifer Beahan, executive director of CFI Michigan. “It would give the state’s blessing to unqualified practitioners of pseudoscience and their baseless remedies, meaning more people will waste their money and risk their health by pursuing quack treatments.”…

As Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch has said, “They choose from a smorgasbord of implausible, pseudoscientific, untested, disproven, unethical, and dangerous treatment methods.”

The House has yet to vote on it, but with the margin that large in the Senate there’s a very good chance it passes. That will, for all practical purposes, mean that medical malpractice and fraud will be perfectly legal in the state of Michigan and the result, inevitably, will be that people will die from unproven and dangerous “treatments.”

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