New Mexico Adopts Safe Harbor Bill for Health Freedom

Press Release
National Health Freedom Coalition April 7, 2009!New Mexico Adopts
Safe Harbor Bill for Health Freedom

Today Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico signed New Mexico’s “safe harbor health freedom bill”, HB664, the “Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act. The bill was introduced in January 2009 by Representative W. Ken Martinez, and signed into law today, April 7, 2009.

Click Here for Full bill language.

Health Freedom activists from across the state and around the country are celebrating New Mexico’s success which will protect New Mexico health seekers’ rights to access traditional, cultural, complementary and alternative health care therapies and remedies freely.

The bill came forth from a team, working in response to the 2007 Senate Memorial 48, requesting a study as to whether these practices were protected adequately by law. The Memorial stated that “New Mexico has a long history of cultural healers, including the curandera, sobaora, partera, mecia and arbolaira, and healing traditions, including plant medicines and foods, prayer, ceremony and song, and these traditions must be shared with current generations and preserved by future generations;…” and “…in New Mexico, there are also well-accepted complementary and alternative health care therapies that have historically been practiced by persons who are not licensed or regulated by the state, including naturopathy, homeopathy, medication, mind-body healing practices, traditional eastern practices such as qi gong and ayurveda, nutrition and lifestyle change, energy therapies, aromatherapy, folk remedies, anthroposophy, herbal therapy and healing practices using heat, cold, water, light and sound;…”

The study team worked hard to come up with a consensus bill, and their work was reflected in the victorious and full Senate unanimous vote in March. Attorney Diane Miller of National Health Freedom Action reports that she has been involved in, and supporting the work of, New Mexico health freedom activists for over five years and is completely impressed with their work and their commitment to protect access to New Mexico practitioners who practice in the public domain. NHFA would like to especially thank Wynn Werner for his central role, dedication, and hard work in bringing the interested parties together to come to solutions, as well as NMCAAMP (New Mexico Complementary and Alternative Medicine Project http://www.nmcaamp.org/), Pami Singh, Misty Trepke, and Richard McDonald, among the many others who worked so hard to make this happen.

NHFA works with over 30 states on this issue and reports that in many states the medical occupation laws are so broad that natural or traditional practitioners can be shut down or criminally charged for practice of medicine without a license. Diane Miller states that New Mexico advocates wanted to avoid any chance of that happening given their rich historic culture of healers.

New Mexico now joins seven other states in passing safe harbor bills to protect consumer access to these practitioners and to ensure that these traditions and practices are preserved for generations to come. Those other states are Minnesota, Rhode Island, California, Louisiana, Arizona (for Hahnemanians), Idaho, and Oklahoma. Congratulations New Mexico and thank you Governor Richardson and the Legislators of New Mexico, for your protection of the healing culture of New Mexico!!!

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