New Mexico Naturopath Bill Risks Patients’ Health and Legitimizes Fake Medicine


For Immediate Release: January 31, 2019
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

A bill granting naturopaths the authority to practice primary care medicine risks the health of New Mexicans and legitimizes fake medicine, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) warned the New Mexico State Senate. The Naturopathic Doctors’ Practice Act (SB 135) would grant licensure to practitioners of pseudoscientific treatments despite the lack of evidence for their effectiveness and the abundant evidence for the potential for harm to patients.

SB 135 states that naturopaths licensed by a state-approved board would be authorized to provide primary medical care to New Mexico patients, which includes performing physical examinations, ordering lab work and diagnostic imaging, and most troubling, the power to prescribe drugs and “administer intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, intra-articular and intradermal injections of substances appropriate to naturopathic medicine.”

In a message to the Public Affairs Committee, CFI explained that naturopaths, who do not receive evidence-based medical training, subscribe to an array of baseless theories and practices that contradict fundamental scientific facts and principles, such as homeopathy, and that patients receiving these “alternative” treatments for serious ailments risk their health and even their lives.

“Despite this bill’s references to ‘naturopathic doctors,’ naturopaths are not physicians,” said Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs. “They do not receive serious medical training, they trade in bogus treatments like homeopathy, and they reject the evidence-based tenets of science. They should not be given similar medical authority as actual medical doctors.”

“Dangerous infectious diseases like the measles are making a frightening comeback in parts of the country where parents are falling for false anti-vaccine propaganda,” added Lemieux. “By legitimizing fake doctors with this bill, the Senate risks adding New Mexico to the list of states scrambling to contain these outbreaks. How is this in the best interest in the people of New Mexico?”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.