(NaturalNews) We are on the verge of being able to report a significant health freedom victory in North Carolina. Although we do not yet have a confirmation that this amendment has passed, NaturalNews received the text of an amendment from a North Carolina state Senator who sponsored the bill, and the text is encouraging (see below).
The amendment has not yet passed, but if it does, it will alter the text of the bill to indicate that the Class I felony charge would only be applied to those who "falsely represent" themselves as being licensed medical practitioners, not merely to those who "practice medicine without being duly licensed."
The distinction is crucial to protect holistic health practitioners. A law which targeted people who merely "practice medicine without a license" would have technically criminalized huge numbers of holistic health practitioners who are actually denied any sort of license to practice medicine by the state (http://www.naturalnews.com/031976_North_Caro...). The new language of this amendment, if adopted, would limit the Class I felony charge only to those who falsely (fraudulently) pretend to have a medical license while actually having no such license (see the amendment text, below).
Here at NaturalNews, we support this new amendment language. It shifts to focus of the law to the kind of people who, for example, perform dangerous surgical procedures under the false pretense of having a medical license when in reality they have no such license. This genuinely is a problem, most notably in the cosmetic surgery realm where numerous fraudulent quacks have been arrested over the years for pretending to be licensed surgeons.
Because, let's face it: Surgery is dangerous enough even when licensed doctors perform it. To have it performed by a con artist pretending to be a physician is unquestionably far more dangerous.
The new language in the proposed amendment
NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY AMENDMENT Representative Weiss
...moves to amend the bill on page 1, lines 13-19, by rewriting the lines to read: "and registered shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, except that if the person falsely represent himself or herself in any manner as being licensed, registered, and practicing under this Article or any other Article of this Chapter, or any person so practicing without a license is an out-of-state practitioner who has not been licensed and registered to practice medicine or surgery in this State, the person shall be guilty of a Class I felony."
(We do not have a public source yet to link to. This amendment text was emailed directly to NaturalNews. We believe it to be authentic.)
This language is still not a total solution for health freedom, by the way. It still does not address the issue of the state medical board maintaining what is essentially a monopoly over the practice of medicine in North Carolina -- that's a far larger debate for another day. At least this modified amendment language does not directly implicate holistic health practitioners as committing felony crimes.
Why loosely-worded laws can be so dangerous to freedom
NaturalNews wishes to thank NC state Senator Eric Mansfield for spearheading this effort to see this amendment adopted. From Sen. Mansfield's explanations to NaturalNews, it seems there was not a malicious attempt to use the original language of the bill to specifically attack holistic health practitioners, but that's the problem with laws, you see: The intention behind the law is irrelevant in the courts. As this bill was originally written, a North Carolina courtroom judge could have very easily interpreted it as meaning that NC legislators specifically intended to classify holistic health practitioners as felons.
Many of the really important laws get wildly abused by prosecutors these days, even in North Carolina. For example, North Carolina passed a law a few years back that called for extreme penalties to be used against people caught manufacturing chemical weapons. Now, when you and I think "chemical weapons," we think about sarin gas or some other such devious substance used by terrorists to kill thousands of people.
But in North Carolina, a prosecutor used this very same law to charge a man running a methamphetamine lab with the far more serious chemical weapons charge. As the Associated Press reported, "If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months." (http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking/Pa...)
Notably, North Carolina prosecutor Jerry Wilson claimed he wasn't even abusing the law. (See? This is how it begins...) The law, he insists, defines chemical weapons of mass destruction as "any substance that is designed or has the capability to cause death or serious injury" and contains toxic chemicals.
Well gee, under that definition, North Carolina should be arresting the operators of pesticide factories and food additive manufacturers. How about the cancer centers that are pumping chemotherapy into the veins of innocent patients?
But no, North Carolina doesn't prosecute pesticide factories and cancer centers for manufacturing chemical weapons, even though that's technically exactly what they're doing. The prosecution is selective, meaning that only those the state really wants to go after get prosecuted. Everybody else gets a pass.
That's the danger of leaving inappropriately-worded laws on the books. An overzealous prosecutor can commit all sorts of state-sponsored tyrannies against the People even while following the letter of the law! This is why it matters to fight for poorly-worded legislation to be revised so that the words say what the lawmakers really intended.
When laws are not narrowly written, they are dangerous to us all
It is extremely dangerous to leave laws on the books that cast a wide net of criminality across innocent people and then rely on the "discretion" of prosecutors to decide to whom that law does or does not apply. And that's what the situation would have been in North Carolina if not for NaturalNews readers rising up in a mass online protest against North Carolina's SB 31 as originally written.
So thank you to all NaturalNews readers who took part in this legislative reality check for North Carolina. Your efforts paid off and a notable health freedom victory seems very close now to being accomplished. NC legislators heard your protests and, to their credit, they took action to clarify their intentions of the law while removing the poorly-chosen language that could have very easily criminalized holistic health practitioners.
The NC legislative offices did not enjoy receiving a barrage of phone calls, emails and other complaints from NaturalNews readers, but we don't pretend to be polite when it comes to defending our health freedoms against potentially dangerous legislative action. We are fighting for the rights and freedoms of those who have long been persecuted by the State for daring to explore alternative cancer treatments or advanced medicine protocols that are decades beyond the current limited knowledge of conventional medicine.
We are a large grassroots action network of mission-driven people who are fed up with being criminalized under a monopolistic, deeply corrupted system of pharmaceutical medicine. And we will fight for the freedoms of our fellow holistic health practitioners even if it means raising our voices and protesting bad laws.
SB 31, as originally written, was a bad law. It now seems to be far better if this new language is adopted.
Rest assured, NaturalNews will continue to follow the progress of this bill, and once this new amendment has in place, we will post a confirmation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/naturalnews).
If this amendment does not get adopted for some reason, we'll bring you that news, too. Stay tuned.
And thank you to the reader from NC who brought this bill to our attention. Because we are a truly independent media source, we rely heavily on news tips from our readers. Keep sending us stories that you think we need to cover, and we will do our best to cover as many as we can. We are currently expanding our editorial staff and hope to have additional reporting capacity in place by the end of April. Our intention is to provide more localized coverage of health freedom issues as they emerge in various states or nations.
We remain your information source for breaking news and developments on health freedom, GMOs, vaccines and much more. Subscribe now to our free daily email alerts if you want to be kept in the loop on breaking news stories: http://www.naturalnews.com/ReaderRegistratio...
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.