2001 December Article: There is No Turning Back for Health Freedom Advocates

by Diane Miller, J.D., Founder and Executive Director of the
National Health Freedom Coalition and National Health Freedom Action
December 2001

The USA is poised to make a leap in health care policy that is unprecedented in our history. The reason? An explosion in consciousness and an informed public!

Not only are citizens insisting upon maximum options and access to all types of health care and healing treatments of their choice, but they are demanding a halt to standard invasive, and frequently toxic medical treatments in favor of what they are coming to understand are more strengthening and more holistic individualized approaches to health care. Not only has it become unacceptable to think that only a “doctor knows best”, but it has become public knowledge that corporate incentives for profits may have pulled the wool over the eyes of the public to the detriment of the health of its citizens.

That is why ordinary people are joining local and national health freedom efforts across the country demanding their rights. Their demands are simple: maximum healing options with common sense and integrity. People want to be able to access any type of treatment they have an interest in. They want enough time with their practitioner to talk through their healing journeys. They want to ask questions about treatment options without being looked down upon or shamed for being unusual; they want to discuss new ideas and learn about new techniques, substances, and devices with open, honest, and inquisitive minds. And they want their practitioners to be free to practice without threat of being shut down. People are genuinely opening to a larger view of healing and there is no turning back. Their preferences go way beyond the parameters of mainstream western medical science.

Its hard to believe that anyone would oppose such an effort, but as the real possibility of deep mind-body healing becomes apparent, various existing groups rise up to claim that they are the only true source of healing.. A belief that there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to heal propels them onward. They even create slogans attempting to convince the public that their brand of health care is the only way to health.

National and state health freedom groups are quickly forming to educate the public about their rights and about health care laws and public policies that may be infringing on citizen rights of access to healing. Some groups even draft new laws and introduce them into legislatures in order to preserve citizen rights.

The National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC) a leader in this movement, was born on August 8, 2000. This week, its sister lobbying organization National Health Freedom Action, was born. These national organizations are central clearinghouses for information and actions being taken across the country to preserve health freedom. Check out the health freedom website and learn all about them at www.nationalhealthfreedom.org, or contact Diane Miller at 651-699-8300 or Jerri Johnson at 651-688-6515.

Current State Action to Reclaim Health Care Freedom of Choice

In California the California Health Freedom Coalition (www.californiahealthfreedom.org) is working hard to pass SB577, carried by Senator John Burton, President of the Senate. This groundbreaking bill will protect consumer access to unlicensed health care practitioners of all kinds You can sign up to support this organization on their website.

California Citizens for Health Freedom (www.Citizenhealth.org) is another health freedom organization promoting health freedom. It is working hard to protect consumer access to holistic physicians in California and broaden the scope of treatment options available for cancer patients in California.

In New York, the New York Natural Health Project (www.nynaturalhealthproject.org) has drafted and introduced bills, that will assure citizen access to homeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists, bodyworkers, and many other unlicensed practitioners practicing under new laws. Bills S4857 introduced by Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Health Committee and A8704 introduced by Assemblypersons Mike Genaris and Vivian Cook, were introduced in May 2001 and are mobilizing support at this time.

Rhode Island introduced Freedom of Access legislation in the spring of 2001, which is similar to the Minnesota Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act. Senate Bill 802 is being carried by Senator Clement Cicilline and House Bill 6211 by Representative Arthur Corvese. You can find out more about this legislation from Boyd Landry, Executive Director of Coalition for Natural Health,cnh@naturalhealth.org or www.naturalhealth.org.

The State of Georgia has worked hard to spread the word of health freedom in Georgia. They are currently in important discussions reviewing potential legislation options that would change existing Georgia health care laws. The Complementary and Alternative Medical Association (CAMA) has an extensive newsletter and works to protect consumer access to maximum healing options.www.camaweb.org, or e-mail: cama@mindspring.com.

Oklahoma is a state with long-standing health freedom laws. The Oklahoma Health Freedom ACTION Network gave written testimony to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy in the form of a Statement on Natural Healing Arts: A Preservation of Health Freedom. Contact: http://www.oklahomahealthfreedom.org. Recently, Oklahoma parents have been shocked by the Lily Rott case in Tulsa where a child protection agency has threatened charges of neglect against parents who wanted to use alternative treatment for their daughter’s leukemia. See:http://www.realityzone.com/healthalerts.html. Lily Rott grew deathly ill after the first round of chemotherapy in an Oklahoma hospital. The parents then took Lily to Switzerland for a different type of treatment. Now Oklahoma is insisting that the child returns and receives chemotherapy again with threats that the child will be put in foster placement when the family sets foot in the USA. This incredible situation is precipitating waves of freedom advocacy throughout the country.

The Minnesota Natural Health Coalition and Legal Reform Project are continuing their deep involvement in health freedom issues in Minnesota after the successful passage of the Health Freedom of Access Act in 2000. Most recently they are attending monthly meetings of the Minnesota Nursing Board Standing Committee on Policy discussing Complementary and Alternative Health Care options for nurses.

The New Jersey Natural Health Coalition has worked hard to mobilize the grassroots and draft new legislation to protect consumer access to unlicensed health care practitioners. NJNHC can be contacted at membership@njnhc.org.

Florida has initiated a health freedom group that can be reached at Freedom4Health@yahoogroups.com. Florida has fought for the right of Reiki and other bodyworkers to not be shut down by their Massage Board for practicing massage without a license.

Additionally 24 states with citizen advocates have contacted National Health Freedom Coalition for health freedom information including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah Vermont and Wisconsin.

If you want to protect your right to access all healing and health care options in your healing and health care, then contact the National Health Freedom Coalition or Action and see if there is a local health freedom group in your neighborhood. www.nationalhealthfreedom.org.