Did you know that not all natural and alternative therapies are recognized in the state of Texas ? Our choices in health care are continually being decreased and eliminated by overly restrictive laws that prohibit certain types of health care practitioners and restrict the use of certain health care products, supplements and devices from public use. These restrictive laws apply even when there is no showing of harm to the public, and when statements made by practitioners and manufacturers are truthful.
The Texas Health Freedom Alliance is a grass roots organization lobbying for consumer choice in natural health modalities and dietary information.
The Texas Health Freedom Alliance(THFA) supports an individual's right to self-determination in making their own health care choices. The (THFA) is calling together all individuals and groups interested in preserving their freedom of access to complete health care. The purpose of this call is to build a strong state coalition with a united voice, and send a clear message of health freedom. A more acceptable balance must be created between individual rights to self-determination and free choice, and the government’s concerns for public safety.
In most states, a practitioner such as a homeopath, herbalist, naturopath, or other unlicensed health practitioner, is legally vulnerable to criminal charges for practicing medicine without a license. This is because medical licensure laws define the “practice of medicine” broadly and make it a criminal offense for non-Physicians to practice within the definition of medicine without a medical license. Most alternative health care practitioners are unaware of the legal ramifications of practicing their chosen profession. Practicing medicine without a license is a misdemeanor; in some states it is a felony. Florida has several cases against unlicensed practitioners of alternative medicine, including naturopathic and energy healing providers. This State has created an unlicensed activity unit of investigators and attorneys who locate, investigate and prosecute people like you: unlicensed practitioners of gentle, natural health care therapies. Practitioners of low and no risk therapies have been arrested. Two recent examples include:
Some of you believe that you're practicing legally because you aren't offering potentially harmful therapies and aren't holding yourself out as a licensed practitioner. This view is particularly held by degree-holding graduates of formal training programs. As a matter of law, you may be correct. As a practical matter, however, IN SOME states the Department of Health disagrees with you. It declared that "unlicensed persons cannot offer CATH therapies (gentle, natural health care therapies)." and "that a patient who chooses to seek CATH therapies [must] do so from a ... licensed individual." (emphasis added). It believes that any therapy intended to affect one's health, however gentle, belongs exclusively to the licensed professions.
Who does this affect? A plethora of people. Natural, complementary, & alternative health care that Texas citizens use every day including homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Below is a list of the following disciplines that are affected :
HEALTH FREEDOM MOVEMENT
The concept of health freedom is based on the idea that conventional medicine covers a relatively small subset of existing techniques. By definition, the remainder fall into the category of alternative practices. The health-freedom movement is based on the idea that individuals have a right to choose their own treatment, rather than having it imposed upon them, even when this treatment is outside the mainstream of conventional medicine.
One objective in the movement is to prevent alternative products - such as vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids and other food supplements - from being regulated as if they were drugs, which requires millions of dollars and decades to approve. Instead, the dietary supplement industry wants them to remain classified as food.
Health freedom” advocates support increased access to nutritional supplements and natural foods. Some supporters also criticize government-mandated vaccinations and water fluoridation. In general, “health freedom” advocacy groups promote patients' rights to access health care treatments outside the scope of traditional medicine. Thus, among other things, they advocate reduced regulation of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners. Their work generally involves lobbying, public education, and outreach.
The National Health Federation is an international nonprofit organization established in 1955 which describes itself as the world's oldest health freedom organization. The federation's Declaration of Health Freedom Rights includes the right to receive alternative medicine and treatments (such as those provided by chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, and clinical nutritionists) and the right of such practitioners to determine and use those treatments best suited for their patients, without government restrictions. Among other things, the declaration also advocates for the elimination of (1) government restrictions on dietary supplements; (2) pesticide, hormone, antibiotic, and irradiation use in food including support for mandatory labeling of genetically-engineered food.; (3) water fluoridation; and (4) mandatory vaccinations. The full declaration is available on the federation's website.
Laws and public policy should no longer be based on unfair discrimination against particular practitioners or treatments, or on the demands of special interest groups or institutions, but rather should be based on true issues of the healing relationship, i.e., an informed environment, ethical conduct of practitioners, reasonable standards of actual harm, and available avenues for client complaints.
The following statistics were compiled and documented by health activist Monica Miller of Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (faim.org):
Texas Health Freedom Bill
The National Health Federation (NHF) is one of several organizations actively working to get this Bill passed so that Texans’ health rights can be protected. The Bill can be found at HB 1716/SB 1084 (full text of Bill not available at this time due to continued text changes).
Successful health freedom legislation accomplishes several important things:
This Bill will:
Other important considerations are: