How A License Legislates Choice

Op-Ed by Rosanne Lindsay, ND

Does a government-issued license protect your right to travel, practice medicine, or 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, safety, or health.

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 “rights” into “privileges,” granted by government, that can be altered, suspended or revoked.

Licensure Creates Turf Wars

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 Destroys Careers

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 decades later. 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, Dave Laposky and others are being coerced to choose between a jab and a job.

As government granteth, it also taketh away. An 84-year-old doctor, Anna Konopka, M.D., who once saw 25 patients a week in New Hampshire, felt forced to surrender her medical license after she refused to use a computer. 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 hand-written 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.

A License Does Not Protect Patients

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 that include puncturing the skin, diagnosing, prescribing drugs and treating. Note: “Prescribe,” “treat,” and “diagnose” are medical terms.

In California, it was a licensed Naturopathic doctor (ND) who caused the death of a patient by injecting a serum of curcumin as a treatment for eczema. Such a trend to “fence out” traditional naturopaths 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, or “whole person approach”, 2) Empowerment, 3) Access, and 4) Legitimization.

Licensed 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. You always have a choice.

Medicine is an art to be PRACTICED, not CONTROLLED.

Ask yourself, 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, opioid addiction, 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? There is a place for complimentary modes of healing, from homeopathy, to naturopathy, to Ayurveda, to Energy medicine. No matter what mandates come down the pipeline there is always the choice to say NO because alternatives exist.

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.

Diane Miller, JD, Dir. of Law and Public Policy for National Health Freedom Coalition and Action non-profit organizations

The National Health Freedom Coalition and Action non-profit groups protect choice in 11 states through legislation to protect access to natural healing modalities and also protect holistic practitioners from being criminalized for “practicing medicine without a license.” Contact NHFC to learn more.


Rosanne Lindsay is a writer, blogger, Naturopath, and president of the NHFC. She is the author of two books, The Nature of Healing: Heal the Body, Heal the Planet, and her story of thyroid disease reversal: Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Natureofhealing. Consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org. Subscribe to her blog at http://www.natureofhealing.org/blog/.

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