I doubt many of you have heard of B18-0060, the Practices of Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine Amendment Act of 2009. I hadn’t either, until it was brought to my attention today in my capacity as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. This bill, which was passed by the DC Council on April 7th, signed by the Mayor on April 28th, and passed the colonial review of Congress on July 6th, essentially re-defines medicine in the District of Columbia to exclude the practices of Naturopathic medicine. I have been invited to a reception to discuss urging the Council to reconsider “whether there are alternatives to eliminating this source of health care from our city.”
I was immediately suspicious of a so-called medical term with the prefix naturo- and the suffix -pathic, but I had never heard the term naturopathic before. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turned out my suspicions were right. Naturopathic medicine is a bag of tricks that includes all the biggest names in woo medicine, including acupuncture, homeopathy, hair analysis, and reflexology.
To which I say: Nice job DC Council! Thank you for stripping these quacks of governmental imprimatur and the trappings of authenticity. Citizens who have been fooled into believing these treatments are effective will hopefully think twice about putting their hands into such unscientific techniques, and instead seek treatment from licensed practitioners working with hard evidence.