Urgent Action Alert for North Carolinians! Medical Licensing Bill Due for Vote Tuesday Evening

April 5, 2011

NCcapitolThe North Carolina Senate is likely voting on a bill this evening which will make the unlicensed and unregistered practice of “medicine or surgery” a felony. The problem is that “medicine or surgery” is unnecessarily vague, and may include some alternative health practices. Please take action immediately!

The bill, S.31 (“To Clarify the Penalty for Unauthorized Practice of Medicine”), would increase penalties for unlicensed medicine or surgery from a misdemeanor to a felony. We looked into North Carolina law to find out more about who would and would not be affected by this bill if it is passed into law.
NC Code § 90-18 (c) states that “The following shall not constitute practicing medicine or surgery” (and therefore would not be affected by this proposed bill). They include, among a number of other practices:

  • Domestic or family remedies
  • Licensed midwifery
  • Licensed chiropractic
  • Dietetics or nutritionist practice
  • Licensed acupuncture

While these specific exceptions are very good, our concern is that the North Carolina code’s definition of “medicine or surgery” is too broad, especially if the penalty will be increased to a felony. We strongly urge the North Carolina General Assembly to postpone the vote on this bill until they hold additional conversations or hearings clearly identifying who exactly would and would not be affected by this bill if it is passed into law. Would homeopaths be included, for example? What about herbalists?
If you are  a citizen of North Carolina, please contact your senators and representative immediately and ask them to postpone the vote. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening!

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11 responses to “Urgent Action Alert for North Carolinians! Medical Licensing Bill Due for Vote Tuesday Evening”

  1. Marianne Widmalm says:

    this is NOT ok. You have to make the bill CLEAR so it does not threaten alternative practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture adn other such things. CHANGE THE BILL OR THROW IT OUT.

  2. Suzy says:

    I said in my letter that health practitioners who are delivering care that medical doctors know nothing about (i.e. homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. etc.) are NOT practicing medicine. Medicine is only a small part of health care; it should not be allowed to monopolize the market. It is bad enough that only state-sponsored medical care is third party reimbursable. We need to change this to allow for health freedom and the flourishing of a free market.

  3. Sally Thomas says:

    Every health care practitioner should be licensed not demonized.

  4. Pope McElvy says:

    I spoke to my NC State Representative today and she has introduced an amendment to SB 31 that specifically exempts alternative medicine practitioners from this bill. I was told that SB 31 was not intended to make the practice of alternative medicine a felony, but that it needed clarification because, as it was written, that was not clear.

  5. diane bourdeau says:

    Please stop this trampling on our rights to choose our healthcare needs.

  6. helen says:

    READ the bill, the language is overbroad and refers to MDs, DOs, etc.
    NDs ARE NOT medical providers. Then there are the wanna-beND hybrids that want Big Ins to control their practice in exchange for reimbursement to pay off school loans.
    Use the ID bill as the model, its the best in the US. The legislature threw out the ND license portion because these 9 did not do as the legislature required.

  7. Michael J Seamans says:

    We were created to live and thrive in the natural environment.The earth is our” iron lung”The laws of creation have wisdom beyond what any arrogant scientist could ever imagine. Man has used natural methods to heal and stay healthy for thousands of years. These methods are still used because they work and are totally none evasive. Just because Pharmaceutical company’s and the medical establishment can’t put a patent on it and charge you for it is no reason to outlaw it. It has been said by people far more intelligent than you ; money is the root to all evil. Are you in support of evil? Look at yourself hard in the mirror in the morning and ask yourself why you are here. Then look at your heart. and feel it beat. Listen to what it says.

  8. James F. McEnaney says:

    we need less rules and regs in health and preventative field and more personal freedoms.
    i served as a medic in Nam(my dad was disabled wwii.
    i only wish in the 1950-60s we had nutritional supplements that I used upon return from overseas.
    do your part!!!
    best Jim

  9. duke says:

    Every women knows how to have a baby…..little assistance is needed by 97% of women.
    Why should natural medicine people be exzempt from a natural occuring process design by a holy power that keeps us in awe….it is about us learning how to work with this power naturally.
    How rediculous…..what’s next breast feeding ceases or only by medically qualified persons?
    Rediculous!

  10. John says:

    The bill is actually a trojan horse to permanently define certain practices as non-medical. This could be good or bad, depending on the attorney and what the purpose is.
    In terms of the evil medical insurance corporations covering chiropractic or any “non-Medicine” that is currently covered by insurance or expanding in coverage, this bill will reverse any progress on that front.
    In terms of private commerce, then people should be free to practice these “non-Medicines” by simply labeling it non-Medicine, but as a consumer product.
    Yet, some crazy lawyer will invariably use the law to throw Medicine into non-Medical category, to deny insurance claims, or throw non-Medicine into the Medicine category whimsically.
    This is unnecessary legislation to spin a pork barrel round and round for idle Senators. Don’t you have anything better to do. Practicing medicine without a license is already illegal. Reform the corporate insurance cabal, that would actually be progress. Even doctors hate insurance as it ever ruins anything that was good about the AMA.

  11. Ogre says:

    Heres the way it works. You know that I can supply you with the roots and herbs to alleviate your grandbabys cancer. You can’t buy them because its against the law. Simple as that..

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