Clark asks Health Minister to Investigate Restricting Naturopaths to Evidence-Based Practice

EDMONTON, AB – The practice of Naturopathy should be restricted only to procedures that pass rigorous scientific testing, and should be further restricted when dealing with children, says Alberta Party leader Greg Clark.

“Like many Albertans I followed the tragic case of Ezekiel Stephan and this caused me to look further into the regulations surrounding Naturopathy in Alberta,” said Clark. “I was troubled to learn how broad the scope of practice is.

“When the Provincial government legitimizes practices that have a questionable basis in science, Albertans are put at risk. Where clear evidence based on rigorous scientific evaluation is lacking, as is the case with many Naturopathic interventions, at best it is benign, at worst it directs people outside science-based medicine to potentially tragic consequences.”

Clark has written to the Minister of Health requesting she investigate making the following changes:

1)      Remove Naturopaths’ ability to use the title “Doctor” or the abbreviation “Dr.”, or the use of the term “Naturopathic Medicine”

2)      Severely restrict or remove entirely Naturopaths ability to work with pediatric patients

3)      Restrict the kinds of claims about the efficacy of Naturopathic treatments and Naturopaths’ ability to administer such treatments (i.e. only procedures that have effects proven through rigorous scientific examination should be allowed)

4)      Eliminate Naturopaths’ ability to prescribe or administer any form of alternative vaccination or vaccination substitute, or to counsel patients to avoid vaccination

5)      Review the role of the College of Naturopaths in self-regulating the practice of Naturopathy and consider alternatives to ensure compliance with the revised regulations

“It is our duty as legislators to protect Albertans from harm,” said Clark. “If there is evidence a Naturopathic procedure is beneficial, or at the very least not harmful, it should be allowed. But those not proven effective by rigorous scientific examination should be restricted.”

You can read Greg’s letter to Minister Hoffman here.