Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Defending Non-traditional Healthcare Providers

August 2018 Bar Bulletin

By Roger Hillman

Non-traditional, or alternative, medicine most often encompasses chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathy. In Washington, as in most states, each of these practices is defined by statute. Statutes also set out the scope of practice for each, in some cases specifically identifying treatments that are permitted or prohibited.

The one thing they have in common is not being authorized to dispense prescription medications. There are also published materials governing these disciplines, such as the Mercy Guidelines for chiropractic and a separate Physicians Desk Reference for herbal medicine.

In addition to the usual challenges presented by a medical liability defense, these disciplines have the added challenge of public perceptions....

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