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Looks like two different bills regarding naturopathic physicians have been introduced in TN.


HB0722 by Niceley: Physicians and Surgeons - As introduced, removes the Class B misdemeanor offense of practicing naturopathy.


SB1630 by Beavers: Medical Occupations - As introduced, provides for the licensure of naturopathic physicians.


Wikipedia has the history of how Naturopathy got to be illegal in TN and TX. It is because of the lobbying efforts of the AMA.

Did you know that only 26% of MD's in the US are members of the AMA?
I just heard that on NPR the other day, after Obama's speech to the AMA.


Rep. Frank S. Niceley
District 17 — Part of Jefferson and Knox Counties — Map

District address
1023 Creek Road
Strawberry Plains, TN 37871

Nashville address
113 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243-0117
Phone (615) 741-4419
Fax: (615) 253-0347



Senator Mae Beavers
R-Mt. Juliet
District 17 — Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, part of Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson Counties — Map

District address
2020 Hunters Place
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

Nashville address
7 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243-0217
Phone (615) 741-2421



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
followup on licensure bill
I wrote to Rep Beavers to find out what was happening, and this is the response that I got:

Ms. Gryder:

Senator Beavers found that she didn't have the support for this bill this session and instead of letting it go to a vote and being killed, she did not run it. The bill can be brought back in the 2010 session that begins in January. We'll see what happens next year.

Patti Saliba
Office of Senator Mae Beavers
Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee
7 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
615/741-2421 or 1-800-449-8366 x 12421
Fax: 615/253-0205
Jun. 26th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
according to Michelle Clark
TN just passed a bill that states selling supplements is not practicing Naturopathic Medicine. This is good for health food store owners. It also means that an ND can at least go there and open a health food store. We follow TN very closely and Karen Howard has develord many trusted contacts there.

There is a lot that can be done in TN to decrease the time before licensure and make it more friendly to NDs. Give me a call, and I will briefly talk you through the steps to licensure.
Jun. 27th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
This is indeed wonderful news, but...

LOL at a state actually criminalizing the practice of naturopathy in the year 2009. I had no idea. Is this actually common?

Yay for rednecks. They probably think it's witchcraft. Can they secede from the Union now, please? How painfully embarrassing.
Jun. 27th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
I guess from your comment that you did not read the history.

In the 1950's, laws were passed in TN and TX making the practice of Naturopathy illegal, after the AMA went on a lobbying spree to discredit all forms of medicine that were different from theirs. That is also when suddenly it became normal for women to give birth in hospitals instead of at home, and doctors became the ones in charge, instead of midwives. There was an aggressive campaign to discredit midwives as well as naturopaths.

The bill on offer is to DEcriminalize naturopathy, to change a law that has stood since the 1950's.
Jun. 27th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
Re: restatement
No, I read it (admittedly maybe only partially), but I still think it's dumb.

I don't care how lawmakers have justified and continue to justify their actions on this issue. If the masses are willfully ignorant enough to allow their representatives to legally ban something as harmless (and as beneficial, for that matter) as naturopathy, then I think they're idiots.

Lobbying can undoubtedly have a powerful influence on public policy. I'm realistic enough about politics to understand this. But ultimately the voters need to be held accountable for continuing to elect such corrupt and, frankly, stupid individuals. We're talking, what, 60 years of complacently?

I realize the aforementioned bill's purpose is to decriminalize naturopathy in the state of Tennessee. My point is that something like this should never have been explicitly criminalized in the first place; let alone allowed to be criminalized in the 21st century. It's outright embarrassing. Any law against the practice of naturopathic medicine should have been repealed a long time ago.

Perhaps I'm being too idealistic here, or maybe I'm too sympathetic to naturopathic medicine in general. But this is my personal view on the matter.
Jun. 30th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Re: restatement
Well I'm glad that you are in favor of naturopathy and averse to the inertia of our legal situation. I agree that it is absurd that it was legislated against back when. Unfortunately, that is the reason that the AMA came into being: to draw a distinct line between the doctors that they represent, and everyone else. Everyone else is supposed to be quacks. Unfortunately, the line is not exactly where they drew it, but it can take a long time to turn around a law that has stood for so many years.

The latest from Mae Beavers: We did not do the licensure bill this year. The only thing we did this year was to remove the part of the statute that made it a crime to prescribe herbs. Under the new law, you can prescribe herbs as long as the patient signs a statement acknowledging that you are not a physician. This will be done for three years and then we will see how things have gone. This is as good as we could do this year but it is a start.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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