Almost every year the NC General Assembly is faced with proposed legislation to license naturopaths to practice medicine in North Carolina. This session is no exception with Senator Stan Bingham filing SB 118 – Naturopathic Licensing Act, last week.
During past debates illegally practicing naturopaths have offered their services as a form of “primary care” – a thought that is troubling to our members. Many patients fail to ask questions regarding the qualifications of their health care provider. If naturopaths are able to use the title of doctor or physician when practicing this could further confuse the public, presenting the false perception of medical training.
Additionally, licensure of naturopaths as physicians is troubling because:
- ineffective naturopathic treatments may delay necessary or needed medical services and put patients at risk
- the lack of ethical standard for naturopaths could lead to patient exploitation through sales directly to patients of “naturopathic remedies”
- this bill places no limitations on naturopaths when it comes to providing mental health care, treating children, or even diagnosing cancer.
For these reasons the Coalition opposes SB 118 as introduced.