California has passed landmark health
freedom legislation – Senate Bill 577.
In fact, the bill passed the legislature
without a single “no” vote.
On September 23, 2002, Senate Bill 577 was signed into law by Governor Davis. As he said when he signed the bill, SB 577 “will ease access to alternative and complementary health care options for all Californians.” He also stated that “the bill provides adequate safeguards for California consumers and enables them to make an informed choice regarding their personal health care.”
SB 577, authored by Senate Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco), provides that a person is not in violation of certain provisions of the Medical Practice Act (that prohibit the practice of medicine to anyone who is not a licensed physician) as long as that person does not engage in certain specified medical acts. It also requires specified disclosures to each client about practitioner training and method of treatment. Client receipt of disclosure materials must be acknowledged in writing.
The California Health Freedom Coalition (CHFC), sponsor of the Bill, expects that SB 577 will change and improve the culture of health care in California by enhancing access to alternative forms of health care. Since the law also requires unlicensed alternative and complementary health care practitioners to provide basic information to consumers about themselves, their training, and their work, it also serves to enhance consumer safety.
SB577 will become effective January 1, 2003.