The Law, Nutrition andAn On Line Seminar by Ralph Fucetola, JD
Alternative Wellness Practices
The Online Seminar
The Vitamin Lawyer web site links to a number of Articles by Ralph
Fucetola JD that may help alternative practitioners and their staff to avoid the
pitfalls of illegal practices while enhancing their ability to provide
non-standard alternative modalities. This page presents them together, as
an On Line Seminar.
The Medical Practices Acts of the several States do not prohibit individuals from receiving unorthodox treatments, that are not part of the standard practice of medicine, nor from dispensing with medical treatment entirely, and seeking other alternate means to achieve and maintain health.
"The state has not restricted the cure of the body to the practice of medicine and surgery -- allopathy, as it is termed, -- nor required that, before anyone can be treated for any bodily ill, the physician must have acquired a competent knowledge of allopathy and be licensed by those skilled therein. To do that would be to limit progress by establishing allopathy as the state system of healing, and forbidding all others. This would be as foreign to our system as a state church for the cure of souls. All the state has done has been to enact that, when one wished to practice medicine or surgery, he must, as a protection to the public [not to the doctor], be examined and licensed by those skilled in surgery and medicine. To restrict all healing to that one kind -- to allopathy, excluding homeopathy, osteopathy, and all other treatments -- might be a protection to doctors in surgery and medicine; but that is not the object of the act, and might make it unconstitutional, because creating a monopoly." North Carolina's Supreme Court in State v MacKinght, 42 S.E. 580, 1902 at p 582.
Truly, as the Supreme Court of the United States offered, "Mere unorthodoxy or dissent from the prevailing mores is not to be condemned. The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness in our society..." Sweeney v New Hampshire, 354 US 234, p.251.
In Hillman/Kohan Eyeglasses, Inc v New Jersey State Board, 169 NJ Super 259, the State Supreme Court observed that, absent compelling health reasons, consumers should have choices in the competitive marketplace, and further, that if the legislature had intended to create a monopoly, it would have done so by specific grant of monopoly, which it did not do in the case of optometry, nor, we assert, in the case of the healing professions.
Individuals have the right to obtain unlicensed, private professional health care services. The Southern District of Texas case of Andrews v Ballard (498 F Supp 1038, 1980) is cited as a leading authority for the propositions that (1) a decision to obtain (in that case) acupuncture needle treatments from one not licensed as a medical doctor is a constitutional right encompassed by the right of privacy (p.1048) and (2) the provisions of the medical practices act, insofar as they limit the use of acupuncture needles to licensed physicians, are unconstitutional (p.1051, et seq.).
Throughout the Twentieth Century, Judges repeatedly championed the rights of the individual to freedom of choice in health care. Even the AMA begrudgingly amended its Code of Ethics to promote cooperation between licensed physicians and other health care providers.
The following Articles discuss a number of issues of interest to
alternative practitioners. In them I discuss Red Flag Words and how to differentiate between licensed medicine and alternative or complementary practices. We
take a look at the Herbalists' Charter and how alternative practices and the
ministry are complementary.
Latest News & Links to the latest cases:
Vitamin Lawyer News.
The On Line Seminar
The On Line Seminar articles are not presented in any particular order,
though the first few are more general, so just read the articles that interest
you. A number of the articles have links to other resources. My
general Links Page is,
1. Alternative Practices and the AMA Code of Ethics
2. The Practice of Alternatives is not the Practice
3. The Herbalists' Charter -- Ancient Rights for
4. Mum Marketing -- Niches on the Internet,
5. The New Jersey 1995 DHEA Cases Story,
6. Bioenergetic Nutrition,
7. The Right of the Public to the Truth,
Current Vitamin Marketing Rules
8. Opinion Letter on Immunization Alternatives,
9. The Ministry and Alternative Practices,
10. Asset Protection,
DHEA Cases and the
Product Name Matter
12. My experience with Lyme's,
Labeling Rules, vitopltr.html
14. Personal Importation of Nutrients and
Prescription Drugs, perimport.html
15. BioAcoustic Evaluation is not Medical Diagnosis,
16. The Vitamin Lawyer on Dietary Supplement
Labeling and Advertising
17. Thompson v Western States Medical
Center - Case Note, thompwest.html
18. Precedent Setting Internet Injunction,
19. Traditional Uses of Dietary Supplements as Substantiation for Advertising
20. What to expect from an FDA surprise inspection of a dietary supplement
21. What marketers need to know about "Dry" Test Marketing,
22. Fund Raising for NGOs
23. SOPs, cGMPs, Manuals - Outlines
from the Vitamin Lawyer,
24. What Products are Permitted under
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