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The Campaign against Alternative Health Practitioners

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A recent post in the blog of attorney of Michael Cohen, author of Legal Issues in Alternative Medicine and other books, speaks to pending cases by the Florida Department of Health against unlicensed practitioners of alternative medicine. In fact, graduates of accredited institutions such as Bastyr University have been unable to use their professional degree designation in states like Florida that lack licensure for naturopathic physicians.

The November 2008 issue of The Townsend Letter published a summary by journalist John Weeks of the AMA’s recent House of Delegates meeting, where they kicked off an escalating round of attacks on the advancement of other healthcare professionals. The current attack includes all disciplines with doctoral level training as well as licensed midwives.

Chester Wilk, DC, who took on the anti-trust actions of the American Medical Association in a mammoth effort, Wilk vs. AMA, chronicled the story in his book Medicine, Monopolies, and Malice. His book is a must-read for any practitioner in the integrative medical community, and his story is one of courage and conviction. During the Wilk vs. AMA trial it came out that the AMA had been systemically trying to outlaw chiropractors beginning the 1960’s, and for the past four decades little has changed in the conventional medical community. Many practitioners continue to be a target of their medical licensing boards as they offer science-based integrative therapies to a growing number of consumers.

AAHF serves a critical role to protect the rights of practitioners targeted by the AMA and state medical boards. The AMA has done a brilliant job of branding conventional treatment as “the only medicine.” We aim to change that.

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