Don’t Let Naturopaths Take Free Rein in Michigan!

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On May 17, the Michigan Senate passed legislation that allows naturopaths great latitude in diagnosing and treating serious medical conditions. It’s up to us to stop this bill in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Make no mistake: This legislation would allow unqualified actors to diagnose serious illnesses and perform medical procedures with little or none of the training required of physicians.

The vast majority of naturopathic practices are not supported by science or medicine—period. Unlike the medical standards set for practicing physicians, naturopathic licensing and treatment standards have not been made available to the public or to the regulatory bodies that protect patient health or pharmacological safety and efficacy.

Unlike medical doctors (MDs and DOs), naturopaths are not required to complete a rigorous postgraduate residency after finishing naturopathy school. Overall, naturopaths receive far less clinical and diagnostic training than MDs and DOs do, and much of the training that they do receive is based on discredited pseudoscienceDespite this lack of qualification for medical practice, SB 826 gives naturopaths a scope of practice almost equivalent to that of licensed primary care physicians.

SB 826 would allow naturopaths to diagnose and treat all illnesses that are covered by MDs and DOs. This expansive scope of practice would put patient safety at risk because naturopaths lack the training to recognize serious medical conditions that require referral to a specialist for safe, effective diagnosis and treatment.

To make matters worse, SB 826 would allow naturopaths in Michigan to write their own rules. It creates a Michigan Board of Naturopathic Medicine to set rules for licensure, examinations, and a naturopathic formulary that includes prescription drugs. Of the board’s eleven members, six would be pseudoscience-trained naturopaths. Only one licensed physician and one pharmacist would represent the view of the entire medical community, and it is not unreasonable to expect that any physician or pharmacist open to serving on a naturopathic board would likely be sympathetic to naturopathy.

SB 826 has been referred to the House of Representatives Health Policy Committee, so we need you to contact your state representative today and tell them to reject this harmful legislation! For the sake of patient health and safety, we can’t let this bill become law in Michigan.

In 2018, expansions of naturopathic licensing have been rejected in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington and Wyoming. Will you tell your representative that Michigan should join these states in protecting patients from pseudoscience?

Please complete our webform to email your representative now. If you prefer to call your representative, you can locate their office phone number here.

Thank you for supporting science, reason, and evidence-based policy!