If you have used a midwife to have your children, seen a Naturopath for what ails you or visited any other non-traditional doctor for your health, you will want to watch what is coming down the pike in North Carolina.
Senate Bill 31, which clarifies the penalties for the "unauthorized practice of medicine," will basically criminalizes the practice of unlicensed forms of medicine, which includes the work of many naturopaths, homeopaths, herbalists, aromatherapists, and even some midwives in the state. It states that anyone who practices medicine or surgery without having been first "licensed and registered to do so" will be guilty of a Class I felony. While the bill is intended to keep quacks from practicing in our state, but it also prevents people that cannot get a license to practice in our state because what they do hasn't been "approved" as a method that can be licensed. Class I felonies in NC are the least severe kinds of felonies, but SB 31 will essentially make those who practice alternative medicine without an official, state-sanctioned license and permit, criminals of the likes of sexual predators and cross burners. Doesn't seem right, does it? If we choose to see a person trained in a particular area of expertise such as herbs or homeopathic medicine so that we can avoid traditional medicines, they will now penalize the person that offers that expertise. Its already difficult enough to get insurance to cover methods that do work for people, so we pay full price for that. But now they are going to outlaw the practice too. Soon we won't have anyone to choose because why would a person want to offer their expertise if they will be slapped with a felony charge for doing so?!
You can read a shortened version of the bill by clicking here.
Whether or not you live in NC, this bill is setting a precedent of intolerance for natural and alternative medicine, so it is important to oppose it regardless of whether or you live in North Carolina or not. The NC House is set to debate and vote for final approval on SB 31 at 7:00 pm EST tonight, April 4th.
You can reach the NC House to oppose the bill by calling (919) 733-7928.
You can reach Governor Bev Perdue's Washington DC office to oppose the bill by calling (202) 624-5833.
If you decide to call, please remember to respectfully express your thoughts. Ranting and raging is not going to help. Clearly state your opposition to SB 31 because it is taking away our health care choices and our health freedoms because it penalizes people who practice alternative medicine.