A License Legislates Choice. Just Say No.

Op-Ed by Rosanne Lindsay

Does a government-issued license protect your right to travel, or practice medicine, to choose for yourself?

The Institute for Justice estimates that one out of four American workers needs some sort of government-issued license to do their job. But, having a license is no guarantee of job protection.

That’s because a license is permission to do something otherwise deemed to be illegal by government. A license is a standard to which everyone is measured to be “average, “ordinary, nothing special.” A license turns inherent “God-given” rights into privileges, granted by government, that can be altered, suspended or revoked.

When Heather Del Castillo began her practice as a holistic health coach with a private license in California she was not precluded from offering nutritional advice. However, when she moved to Florida, the turf changed. In Florida, Heather was targeted by a licensed Nutritionist for practicing nutrition without a license. It doesn’t matter that she writes about what she practices, which is not illegal. Based on a new interpretation of existing law, she can no longer practice what she preaches.

A license is power in the hands of government, or a group, to legislate choice. It grants government the right to say whom you can and cannot do business with. It restricts the right of individuals to travel freely. It prevents practitioners from sharing holistic health advice and individuals from choosing holistic options of their own free will. It destroys careers.

When Dr. Dave Laposky, M.D., signed up to be a physician and opened up practice in Pine River, MN, he didn’t expect that he would be mandated to take a seasonal flu vaccine to keep his job. Yet he is one of 69 employees who were fired by Essentia Health for refusing to take the flu jab. Even without any published scientific evidence that the flu shot prevents transmission of the influenza virus, Dr. Rajesh Prabhu of Essentia Health responded, “We thought this was the best way to protect our patients.”

An 84-year-old doctor who sees 25 patients a week in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna Konopka, M.D., felt forced to surrender her medical license after the “New Hampshire Board of Medicine officials challenged her record-keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision-making.” Perhaps the real reason was that Dr. Konopka saw anyone who could pay $50 in cash, kept handwritten notes, and refused to use technology to diagnose her patients or log her patients’ prescriptions as part of New Hampshire’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program.

In this dog-eat-dog world, the government says every dog must have a license. But, if you practice licensed medicine and do not toe the party line of the health insurance industry, or the policies of the licensing board, be prepared to give up your license and your ability to practice.

Ironically, as government taketh away, the push for all holistic practitioners to become licensed is happening nationwide. Uniformity over unity. Homogeneity over identity. Medicalized (licensed) naturopaths are becoming like their conventional medical counterparts in attempting to pass laws that would criminalize all traditional (unlicensed) naturopaths for practicing medicine without a license, while allowing themselves to perform risky procedures that can cause harm (puncturing the skin and cutting into the body). Such a trend would not only prevent the choice for safer alternatives, but would damage the reputation of traditional naturopaths everywhere.

Meanwhile, 40% of Americans spend $40 billion annually on supplements and use alternative health care approaches to achieve wellness. The State of Wisconsin was featured in the March 2000 issue of the Journal of Family Practice showing consumer demand for more (not less) alternative healing options. Four reasons emerged as the basis for this: 1) Holism (whole person approach), 2) Empowerment, 3) Access, and 4) Legitimization.

Forced medicine would prefer all citizens to roll up their collective sleeves under the Healthy People 2020 Act (it’s all an Act) under the guise of Public Health over Individual Health. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Medicine is an art to be practiced, not controlled.

We need to be asking ourselves what qualifications does the government have when it comes to determining individual health? Why should anyone be forced to follow the government’s advice on health as we see rising rates of obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease and cancer?

More importantly, why should we allow an entity or one group of people to give themselves power to legislate choice for all others? No matter what mandates come down the pipeline there is always the choice to say NO. Just as Drs. Laposky and Konopka stood their ground and said, “No more,” anyone can do so. It only takes practice.

The practice of saying “No” does not require a license.

Rosanne Lindsay is a board certified Naturopathic doctor under the Turtle Island Provider Network. She is a writer, Earth Keeper, President of the National Health Freedom Coalition, co-founder of Wisconsin For Vaccine Choice, and author of the book The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and Natureofhealing and consult with her using the tools of nature to heal yourself (virtual consults available) at natureofhealing.org., where this article first appeared.

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