Licensure of “degreed” naturopaths in Colorado will not, in my opinion, protect the public.
On the contrary, in the 14 states where the practice is regulated, naturopathy boards often hinder the public’s recourse to compensation for injuries through criminal and civil action.
When a teenaged Washington girl died at the hands of a licensed naturopath who failed to help the girl with the most basic of asthma treatments, two licensing boards cleared the doctor of all charges.
Such injuries are to be expected because naturopaths do not engage in science-based practices.
Their practices aren’t standardized or even defined. No wonder Colorado legislators have seven times denied naturopaths a short-cut to professional legitimacy through licensure.
Authorities have long turned a blind eye to Colorado’s naturopaths practicing in open violation of the Medical Practice Act. The reason naturopaths seek licensure is, as they admit, to gain “major insurance offerings,” (www.coloradond.org/documents/CO_spring_2010.pdf).
A look at the websites of Colorado’s “degreed” naturopaths reveals that many commonly use things that plain don’t work (e.g. homeopathy and muscle-testing for allergies). Many, apparently, are anti-vaccination, with some advising children instead be put to bed in frozen underwear and socks to boost their immunity.
Some practices are outright dangerous, such as “peat therapy” (raising body temperature to 106 degrees), IV chelation and injecting hydrogen peroxide into veins.
One naturopath sells rattlesnake bite kits that consist of nothing but sugar pills that magically contain the “memory of an active ingredient (www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/night-of-the-living-naturopaths).
Don’t be fooled by naturopath “doctorates.” Anything they learned about science apparently went in one ear and out the other.
What sticks with them are lessons of 19th-century mysticism, magical thinking, and “vitalism.” Any advice they give about nutrition can be done better by well-trained dietitians.
Colorado citizens should be wary of licensing naturopaths, which would establish a two-tiered medical system where the winners are cared for by well-educated medical doctors with treatments that have been researched for safety/efficacy and the losers get naturopaths.
Linda Rosa, RN