Could It Be? Texas to Create a Board of Integrative Medicine!April 19, 2011
As biased as most of the medical community is against Integrative Medicine, which includes natural health approaches, it’s heartening indeed that Texas may recognize it and even set up a board that understand it!
In the Texas legislature, Rep. Bill Zedler has introduced a bill, HB 2455, to create the Texas Board of Integrative Medicine.
Western medicine has historically been extremely biased against integrative medicine. That’s because Western docs don’t understand complementary and alternative medicine. Because they have a different approach, they mistrust CAM, and this contributes to a hostile environment on state medical boards. How can they fairly ascertain the state of affairs if they don’t understand the integrative approach or utilize it themselves? Because of this, state medical boards regularly favor conventional treatments, with complementary and alternative treatments being denigrated or worse. Integrative practitioners face personal attacks by medical boards, and it is an uphill battle to defend their practice, as we have reported to you previously.
Some states, like Texas, have some strong due process protections for doctors, but rules are not always followed if the medical board itself is biased. HB2455 could be an important step towards evening that playing field. It creates a board exclusively for integrative medicine, which will consist of “six members who are physicians and who practice integrative medicine”—and who, therefore, will have a full and unbiased understanding of CAM—and three members who represent the public and are not licensed or trained in a healthcare profession.
The bill defines “integrative medicine” as “a medical system of diagnosing, treating, or correcting real or imagined human diseases, injuries, ailments, infirmities and deformities of a physical or mental origin and includes acupuncture, chelation therapy, homeopathy, minor surgery, and nonsurgical methods, the use of devices, physical, electrical, hygienic, and sanitary measures, and all forms of physical agents and modalities, neuromuscular integration, nutrition, orthomolecular therapy, and pharmaceutical medicine.”
There’s a second bill in Texas that is exciting as well. HB1013, which relates to the powers and duties of the Texas Medical Board. It includes provisions such as banning anonymous complaints against doctors, and guaranteeing jury trials for doctors whose licenses are being revoked. Generally, it gives more due process rights for all doctors, including doctors who practice integrative medicine. The ban on anonymous complaints is important because doctors will sometimes lodge anonymous and false complaints on other doctors to get rid of their competition. A jury trial is important, because it allows for an independent review outside of a potentially biased board.
If you are a resident of Texas, please contact your legislators immediately and ask them to support this bill!
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