An April 4 report on the NaturalNews Network that has been circulating widely by e-mail claims that legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly was about to “criminalize naturopaths, homeopaths, herablists, midwives, aromatherapists as felons.” But the short bill (SB 31), amended and passed today in the House, simply changes the current penalty level for people who “misrepresent themselves as licensed physicians,” according to Rep. Susan Fisher, Buncombe County Democract.
“It is a change in penalty to a felony for only those who misrepresent themselves as licensed physicians. It has to do with a case in Fayetteville where someone represented themselves as a licensed medical doctor,” Fisher said in an e-mail answer to an Xpress inquiry today.
Rep. Tim Moffitt, Republican of Buncombe County, concurred, saying that there was “quite the discussion regarding the Naturopathic side of medical treatment” in today’s floor debate, but House members “were assured by Rep. Rick Glazier (Democrat of Cumberland County) that these groups would not be affected.” The bill passed as amended 111-5, he said.
The original bill, which amends one paragraph of the current state law G.S. 90-18(a), was passed by the Senate on March 7. Fisher noted that SB 31 was amended in the House today to ensure that the law “remains as it has been for any other providers who misrepresent themselves.”
by Nelda Holder, contributing editor