A healthy nation, with empowered people, making informed health care decisions.
To promote access to all health care information, services, treatments and products that the people deem beneficial for their own health and survival; to promote an understanding of the laws and factors impacting the right to access; and to promote the health of the people of this nation.
Do you enjoy using homeopathy, naturopathy, bodywork or other healing practices for your health care and wellness? What if you could not find a practitioner or get the treatment or information you need, from the practitioner you wanted to see?
Do you expect the food that you eat to be safe and nutritious? What if you were to learn that the food that you eat contains dangerous chemical residues or is genetically engineered and could cause you harm?
Do you expect the school environments for your children to be safe without dangerous chemicals on the play grounds, cleaning agents in the school building, high frequency exposures in the classroom, and safe and nutritious food at lunch? What if you were to learn that your child is being exposed to things that were causing them health challenges?
The reality in today’s world is that many of these health impact issues are of great concern to Americans. But the way that the laws are structured in America, many of these issues go unchecked. For example: Many healing practitioners are prohibited from practicing or they practice under the radar due to fear of being charged under conventional medical practice laws. There are laws that do not adequately require food producers and manufacturers to disclose harmful substances or genetic modifications; and there are laws that do not prohibit schools from utilizing dangerous chemicals, high frequency technology, and low-level nutrition lunches.
In addition, the dominance of conventional products and practitioner laws has evolved so much so that they extend into basic rights to choose healthful options: For example: in some states parents cannot send their children to public or parochial day care or schools if they don’t have their children receive government recommended vaccines; and parents have lost custody of their children if they choose to get second opinions or decline chemotherapy for their child; or adults have lost their jobs if they do not get the medical treatment their employer requires such as flu shots.
Restrictive laws in America reflecting only the conventional medical approach to health care and the conventional approach to production and manufacturing of foods and products, prohibit a multitude of healing practices and healthful environments and products. Because of these laws, your right to health is severely limited.
National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC) believes that individuals have the right to self-determination in making their own choices when it comes to decisions that impact their health and the health of their family members. When health care options are eliminated through restrictive laws and regulations, choices are eliminated and access to health becomes meaningless. When this happens people suffer and must work to protect their rights and retain their options.
NHFC believes we need a strong voice to educate Americans on how to reclaim the right to access all health options. NHFC works to bring together individuals and groups interested in strengthening the voice of health freedom in America and preserving freedom of access to complete health. Our national coalition works to bring a united voice, and send a clear message of health freedom. We support the creation of a more acceptable balance between individual rights of self-determination and free choice, and the government’s concerns for public safety.
The goal of NHFC is to promote a national environment in which laws and public policy are not based on unfair discrimination against particular practitioners or treatments, or on the demands of special interest groups or institutions, but rather are based on true issues of healing, i.e., an informed environment, access to preferred practitioners, products and environments, reasonable standards of actual harm, and available avenues for client complaints. Public policy and laws will need to change to reflect health freedom values.
NHFC believes that education is a key ingredient in the process of changing laws and public policy. By utilizing NHFC resources, health freedom advocates will become prepared to effectively promote health freedom.
NHFC serves and educates the public by being a national hub of health freedom information and resources. A skilled professional legal and public policy staff is available for consultation and technical presentations, conferences, and creative problem solving. Press releases, research and reporting is available on our website and public formats.
NHFC Founders Address A Special NEED
At the launch of NHFC in 2001, NHFC was keenly interested in addressing the issue of health seekers being able to access the type of health care practitioner they preferred. Since then they have educated many states on the concept of safe harbor laws that protect access to many healing arts practitioners. NHFC believes that each and every one of us counts on the fact that we can make our own unique health care choices to keep ourselves healthy and happy. As Americans, we believe these freedoms are intrinsic. In fact, we continue to demonstrate our independent thinking and freedom to choose complementary and alternative health care as indicated in the most recent study reporting that over 34% of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative health care. (Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012 by Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H., Lindsey I. Black, M.P.H., National Center for Health Statistics; Barbara J. Stussman, B.A., National Institutes of Health; Patricia M. Barnes, M.A., National Center for Health Statistics; and Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., National Institutes of Health)
Yet surprisingly, NHFC learned that our choices in health care were being decreased and eliminated by overly restrictive laws that prohibit certain types of health care practitioners from practicing and restricted the use of certain health care products and devices from public use. These restrictive laws applied even when there was no showing of harm to the public, and when statements made by practitioners and manufacturers were truthful. For example:
In most states, a practitioner such as a homeopath, herbalist, naturopath, or other unlicensed health practitioner, is legally vulnerable to criminal charges for practicing medicine without a license. This is because medical licensure laws define the “practice of medicine” broadly and make it a criminal offense for non-Physicians to practice within the definition of medicine without a medical license. For instance, in California the unlawful practice of medicine is defined as: “Any person who practices or attempts to practice, or who advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing, any system or mode of treating the sick or afflicted in this state, or who diagnoses, treats, operates for, or prescribes for any ailment, blemish, deformity, disease, disfigurement, disorder, injury, or other physical or mental condition of any person…”. CA Stat. Sec. 2052. This definition made it almost impossible for many unlicensed practitioners to practice without criminal vulnerability. CA health freedom leaders went forward and passed a law to exempt complementary and alternative health practitioners from criminal charges of practice without a license.
NHFC’s work to educate leaders across America about these restrictive practitioner laws has made a difference. Many leaders have gone to their state legislatures and worked to change these laws. In fact, as of 2018, 10 states have created new laws that protect these practitioners and their rights to practice, making them completely accessible to health seekers.
NHFC is unique in that it supports a mediative and nonconfrontational approach to problem solving. NHFC’s hope is that it will contribute to the healing of the people by reflecting a spirit of tolerance, compassion, and cooperation, qualities they believe necessary in every healing journey. NHFC holds that the community of the world must make a sincere effort to work together to find harmony and be healthful. Differences thus will be approached as opportunities for growth and understanding.
The Common Purpose
NHFC’s mission calls for respect of our individual rights to self-determination: the right of all people to make their own personal health care choices in their healing process. In order to have that right in the fullest sense of the word, we believe that people must have access to the broadest range of health options, practitioners, treatments, environments, and truthful information.
NHFC Founders are Diane Miller, Leo Cashman, and Jerri Johnson.
For over two decades, NHFC’s Cofounder and Director of Law and Public Policy, Diane Miller, J.D., has worked to promote consumer options in health care. As co-counsel in State v. Saunders, Miller defended a farmer selling colostrum to persons that were sick. The case turned on whether an unlicensed practitioner could practice healing without a medical license. Charges were dismissed after two hung juries. An avid health freedom advocate and founding member of Minnesota health freedom organizations, Miller successfully helped draft and lobby to passage the groundbreaking Minnesota Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act of 2000.
Cofounder and NHFC’s Treasurer Leo Cashman, an educator/activist/writer on health, nontoxic dentistry and health freedom issues, has dedicated his life to freedom issues. As a founding member of two Minnesota health freedom organizations, he worked to pass the Minnesota legislation for freedom of access to complementary and alternative health care. Cashman is currently Executive Director of national DAMS, Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions, an organization in the forefront of nontoxic dentistry issues.
Cofounder Jerri Johnson, NHFC’s Public Relations Coordinator, homeopath, former registered nurse, and a health freedom lobbyist and activist, is a community organizer. As founding member of the Minnesota Natural Health Coalition and the Minnesota Natural Health – Legal Reform Project, Johnson helped to lobby and facilitate the passage of the Minnesota legislation. As a founding member of Vaccine Awareness Minnesota, Jerri holds a strong interest in vaccine safety issues. She actively lobbied for legislation which assured that parents will be informed of their option to decide not to vaccinate their child, and that parents who decide to vaccinate their child will first receive information about potential side effects of the vaccine.
NHFC’s hope is that seekers of health freedom will have a place to turn to gain support and understanding. They will benefit from NHFC’s educational and informational resources and guiding principles. Individuals will have a way to become educated, articulate, successful community leaders advocating for health freedom. They will become equipped to be vigilant and successful in protecting their right to have maximum health care options and choice.
On a daily basis, health freedom advocates will be able to contact and speak with NHFC staff directly, or go to NHFC’s Website for up-to-date information on state and national health freedom issues. They will be able to view important documents and important health freedom materials, tapes, and videos. Individuals involved in legislative actions may be interested in viewing Advocacy Resources drafted by NHFC program staff or requesting program staff to give a technical presentation to a particular group.
The National Health Freedom Coalition is committed to assisting the public in protecting its constitutional rights. NHFC helps hold the vision of health freedom and encourages us to work together to keep the voice of health freedom alive in our country.