Health Freedom for Homeopathy
"Health Freedom" is a concept that has been turned into state law in at least 7 states. Its purpose is to protect alternative and other non "old school" health practices to insure that the public has free access to their choice of health modalities. Without health freedom, various practices such as homeopathy are vulnerable to a range of political and legal problems. Health freedom has been organized politically in Massachusetts since the 1990's and presently has a formal organization with legislation pending at the State House
Because of the current political atmosphere in MA, there has been only modestdemonstrated interest in health freedom by various health modalities, except for homeopathy. At the last meeting of the board of directors of Health Freedom MA, the directors were wringing their hands about the lack of enthusiasm in the state for health freedom. Interestingly, all 3 active board members identify themselves with homeopathy and have attended Teleosis in one form or another of its various incarnations. Because of these occurrences, I drew the conclusion that we should change our organizational focus from health freedom to developing a licensing law for homeopathy in the state.
Having participated in several legislative initiatives in the past, I first spoke with Nancy Gahles at NCH. She referred me to Manfred Meuller at NASH and we had a robust discussion on the topic. Essentially, he presented me with a list of my old favorite arguments as to why health freedom was the right track for homeopathy and not a licensing law. For example, there is no profession that is happy with the state regulations that come from the respective licensing boards. I can certainly agree with that in my 40 year history in the health care field. The assertion is that being able to practice without state oversight and micromanagement is the best way to go. Secondly, the best intended licensing laws end up seriously disfigured by the political process depending upon which group has the most money and lobbying clout at the State House. I can attest to this first hand from participation in mental health legislation in the 1990's, working on a bill to protect the practice of alternative nutritionists and most recently participating in the massage therapy licensing initiative of the early 2000's.
George A. Rhoads
Health Freedom MA
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