Oh no, not again! Massachusetts Legislature passes naturopathic licensing bill

The Massachusetts Legislature (formally known as the “General Court”) passed a licensing bill for naturopaths on January 3, 2017. (Orac covered the bill’s passing as well.) The bill is now on the Governor’s desk for consideration. We’ll get to the legislative machinations behind the bill in a minute, but first let’s look at some key provisions of the bill and what they mean in actual practice.

Definition of naturopathy

Naturopathy is defined in the bill as

a system of health care practices for the prevention, evaluation and treatment of illnesses, injuries and conditions of the human body through the use of education, nutrition, natural medicines and therapies and other modalities which are designed to support, stimulate or supplement the human body’s own natural self-healing processes.

What this means

Stimulating the body’s “natural self-healing processes” is vitalism, a long discredited, pre-scientific notion that there is some incorporeal force operating

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