By Mike Causey
North Carolina Citizens for Healthcare Freedom
UPDATES continually provided here.
SB 31, a bill that will make felons out of alternative health care practitioners, breezed through the House Judiciary Committee on March 31 in the North Carolina Legislature. The vote on the bill has now been postponed to Thursday, April 14th. The only chance to stop it is for people to personally CALL their NC House Representative and voice their opposition stating why they oppose this bill.
You can find your state rep’s name and contact info here.
I urge you to consider S31 as written is bad legislation and not in the interest of the citizens of North Carolina. It would affect two very different groups of people:
Group 1: Persons who perform licensed kinds of activities without a license (see prohibited acts in 2009 H842) and they must be held accountable.
Group 2: Alternative health care practitioners who offer unlicensed healing modalities that have a safe history. These should be allowed to continue to do so as long as they provide appropriate disclosures (see 2009 H842 disclosures below).
Although H 842 from the 2009 session is not active, please consider the intent and involvement of its many sponsors. I would urge you to add this language to S31. Similar health freedom laws exist in eight states: Idaho, Oklahoma, Minnesota, California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Arizona, and New Mexico.
According to a nationwide government survey released in December 2008, approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over and approximately 12 percent of children use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
I would appreciate your careful consideration of this matter. There are many holistic practitioners in North Carolina who do no harm and whom you would put out of business with this bill. There are many NC citizens who rely on alternative healing modalities. Citizens want more healthcare options whether or not they have health insurance, and every citizen has the right to choose the path of his/her own healing.
Here’s the text of the bill:
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SENATE BILL 31
Judiciary I Committee Substitute Adopted 3/3/11
Short Title: Clarify Penalty Unauth. Practice of Medicine. (Public)
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE PENALTY FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 90-18(a) reads as rewritten:
“§ 90-18. Practicing without license; penalties.
(a) No person shall perform any act constituting the practice of medicine or surgery, as defined in this Article, or any of the branches thereof, unless the person shall have been first licensed and registered so to do in the manner provided in this Article. Any person who practices medicine or surgery without being duly licensed and registered, as provided in this Article, shall not be allowed to maintain any action to collect any fee for such services. The person so practicing without being duly licensed and registered shall be guilty of a Class I felony, except that any person who has a license or approval under this Article that is inactive due solely to the failure to complete annual registration in a timely fashion as required by this Article or any person who is licensed, registered, and practicing under any other Article of this Chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
SECTION 2. This act becomes effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.