MMA didn't oppose final naturopath bill
MINNEAPOLIS, June 9, 2008—A Star Tribune article by Maura Lerner published Sunday described the furor among alternative health care providers at the new law allowing naturopaths to register with the state call themselves doctors.
For many years the Minnesota Association of Naturopathic Physicians pushed for a law that would license naturopathic doctors. This year they proposed a less-formal registration, and were more successful.
The law permits those who qualify to use the title "naturopathic doctor" and expand their "scope of practice" to order procedures like blood tests and MRIs, and admitting patients to hospitals.
Naturopaths worried that a primary obstacle to the bill's passage would be the objections of the Minnesota Medical Association. The MMA did object to allowing naturopaths to prescribe drugs and perform minor surgery. But when these measures were removed from the bill the MMA withdrew its opposition.
The amended law remains controversial because it pits naturopaths against other alternative practitioners -- homeopaths, folks healers, massage therapists and others -- who worry that naturopaths will become the sanctioned "gatekeepers" for anyone seeking a non-medical approach.
The entire article is available at the Star Tribune website.