SB 31 Heads to House Floor for Final Approval

 Amidst the budget negotiations and tort reform bills being debated at the General Assembly this year is also a very important bill that would make it a felony to practice medicine without a license in North Carolina, SB 31 – Clarify Penalty for the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine (Mansfield, D – Cumberland).

Current North Carolina law is inconsistent in that out-of-state practitioners who practice medicine without a license are guilty of a Class I Felony, while in-state practitioners are only guilty of a misdemeanor.  SB 31 would bring parity to the penalty by making it a Class I Felony, the lowest grade felony, to practice medicine without a license no matter where you live.

SB 31 does not affect any legal scope of medical practice in the state of North Carolina.  Licensed health care providers will not be adversely affected by this legislation and North Carolina patients will be protected.  

This bill passed out of the Senate earlier this month, without an opposing vote and received a favorable report from the House Judiciary B Subcommittee on Wednesday morning. It will be debated and voted on by the entire House on Monday evening at 7 pm – this will be a very important vote to protect the practice of medicine in our state. Please take the time this weekend to contact your Representative and ask them to vote “yes” for SB 31 on Monday night!  (Need help finding your Representative? Click here.)

 
 

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15 Comments

  • Heather

    This is simply an admission on the part of medical practitioners that there are effective, non-pharmaceutical paradigms out there. Why else would you make a law against it? And please don’t pretend this ‘protects’ the public. Shall we examine the mortality rates for aspirin, alone? For medical procedures that caused irreparable damage, death? There are already certifications and continuing education requirements for alternative health care practitioners in place all over the country. To me, this is a case of ‘the guilty scream;’ if there was no threat, as they view it, to the medical pocketbook, there would be no legislation needed to secure the lock.

  • Kelly, thank you for your question, as there are no dumb questions, yet there are apparently some dumb replies to questions. Keep on being inquisitive and seeking truth.

  • To NC LMBT… Kelly aired a valid question, one that many massage therapists I know wondered about as well.

    I find your reply to Kelly rather indicitave of your coarsness and unthoughtful attitude. I would like to know who you are and where you practice so that I can steer away from someone like you in my future therapuetic massages.

  • If I understand correctly, North Carolina is reinforcing a law that has already been in place; making harsher penalties for people who aren’t licensed to practice medicine. I’m not going to pretend to understand what the ramifications may be because I don’t live in North Carolina. They don’t have licensing for naturopathic doctors in Colorado either, but they can all practice what they do legally as long as they don’t prescribe drugs (which is ridiculous because they are FULLY trained, qualified and capable of doing so if it is necessary, but that is somewhat another issue).

    This country has always been about allowing people to have choices (most of the time). If they want to make unlicensed practice a felony, fine, that’s one thing. There are practitioners, however, who are educated and trained in the arts and sciences of alternative care and are fully capable of treating patients. Perhaps what North Carolina needs, if they don’t already have one, is some organization that can license these practitioners so that they don’t lose their practices and more importantly so their patients don’t lose their healthcare. I would imagine alternative care patients in North Carolina would be scared senseless of having to go back to the traditional model when it clearly didn’t work for them. I would be scared senseless. I suffered from an illness for most of my life and traditional medicine did absolutely nothing for me. If anything, it may have made my situation worse. I would want the choice to try something else and I would imagine that anyone else in my position would want that choice as well.

    If I am correct and NC is just trying to stop fake obia men and voo-doo doctors from hurting people, that’s one thing. I would vote yes all the way for that, unqualified fake healthcare people are dangerous and I’ve seen people get hurt because of that. Most alternative care that I’ve sought throughout my life, however, is based in good solid science and if the new law threatens any of these fully capable practitioners then I fervently urge reconsideration.

  • If I understand correctly, North Carolina is reinforcing a law that has already been in place; making harsher penalties for people who aren’t licensed to practice medicine. I’m not going to pretend to understand what the ramifications may be because I don’t live in North Carolina. They don’t have licensing for naturopathic doctors in Colorado either, but they can all practice what they do legally as long as they don’t prescribe drugs (which is ridiculous because they are FULLY trained, qualified and capable of doing so if it is necessary, but that is somewhat another issue).
    This country has always been about allowing people to have choices (most of the time). If they want to make unlicensed practice a felony, fine, that’s one thing. There are practitioners, however, who are educated and trained in the arts and sciences of alternative care and are fully capable of treating patients. Perhaps what North Carolina needs, if they don’t already have one, is some organization that can license these practitioners so that they don’t lose their practices and more importantly so their patients don’t lose their healthcare. I would imagine alternative care patients in North Carolina would be scared senseless of having to go back to the traditional model when it clearly didn’t work for them. I would be scared senseless. I suffered from an illness for most of my life and traditional medicine did absolutely nothing for me. If anything, it may have made my situation worse. I would want the choice to try something else and I would imagine that anyone else in my position would want that choice as well.
    If I am correct and NC is just trying to stop fake obia men and voo-doo doctors from hurting people, that’s one thing. I would vote yes all the way for that, unqualified fake healthcare people are dangerous and I’ve seen people get hurt because of that. Most alternative care that I’ve sought throughout my life, however, is based in good solid science and if the new law threatens any of these fully capable practitioners then I fervently urge reconsideration.

  • It is sad that the 3rd leading cause of death in 2003 is now trying to monopolize health care in NC. It is time to allow all physcians the ability to practice in NC, not just pharmapaths.

  • Kelly

    @ NC LMBT: That is why I asked a simple question here, for truth. I really hope you are not insinuating that I was producing hysteria.

  • Eddie

    Should this law be enacted, It will exclude some very competent, unlicensed herbalists from administering good things that people need.

  • Mary Born

    This bill severely limits a person’s right to choose the kind of health care practitioner they seek. If a person is harming others–their practice will decrease automatically due to poor referral. We do not need government to intervene on this. It is a ploy to dimish basic rights.

  • NC LMBT

    Kelly, a response given to the members of the midwifery community by Sen. Mansfield indicated that it was not intended to create any witch hunts or effect any fields with scope of practice issues.

    If you read it for yourself, it is not adding any new legislation, it is merely editing what is already in place so the penalty is not determined by where you live. The link shared in the post shows the changes via strikethrough and underline techniques.

    Massage has its own licensure board as set forth by the NC State Legislature; and which modalities require licensure is clearly stated by the BMBT. I see no need for panic or hysteria.

  • Steve

    Amy, I would encourage people to do the opposite of what you’re suggesting, to vote NO on SB 31. This is a travesty of health freedoms in North Carolina. How much pharma stock do you own Amy? How much does your practise bring in from pharma?

    SB 31 is really just another way to target alternative practitioners and reign in the practice of medicine to only that which has been approved by the government overlords. And the timeline for defeating this bill is very short. Alternative practitioners in NC, and those who safely and successfully use their services, need your help now to successfully defeat this bill.

    Citizens for Healthcare Freedom (CHF), a nonprofit health freedom organization in NC, says the bill is “not in the interest of the citizens of North Carolina” because it affects many alternative practitioners who will be put out of business if it passes. The vast majority of these practitioners have been practicing for years, and they have helped thousands of patients over the years using methods not officially sanctioned by state medical boards

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031953_medical_practice_licensing.html#ixzz1Ieki2mmF

  • TIM VOGEL

    VOTE NO! This is nothing but an attempt by big pharmaceutical companies and for profit hospitals to eliminate natural healing methods and therapies. SHAME ON YOU! We REFUSE to corporate health care. It’s a fast track to de-population!

  • Glen Ventura

    Homeopathic and Naturopathic practitioners would apparently be affected. Numerous alternative health practitioners could be jailed as felons. This law should not be passed without stricter and more specific limitations on what it will control. It should only apply to traditional Western medical practice.

  • Kelly

    Should NC Licensed Therapeutic Massage Therapist be concerned about this? Are they going to need a Medical license to continue their practice as well?

  • Concerned NC Citizen

    Important to continue practicing what? Dish out more pharm meds and destroy people’s bodies and minds? We will all just think more along the lines of OUTSIDE the box.