Is it a crime to give people information about alternative therapies?

Is it a crime to give people information about alternative therapies?

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Is it a crime to give people information about alternative complimentary integrated therapies that could potentially be a benefit to them? Is it against the law? Is it a statutory violation? Is it something for which a physician or a nurse should be subject to discipline by the board or potentially exposed to a lawsuit, the threat of malpractice liability? These are questions that have preoccupied me when I was on faculty at Harvard Medical School as a lawyer, teaching doctors about alternative medicine, as we called it at the time.

So here I am today, engaging in some alternative medicine of my own. I have my mask. You can tell the date from that. And here are the empty rows of shopping mall stores. And I’m probably going to hug this tree by the end of the video. But… not but, and, you know these questions are still here today.

So yesterday I was contacted by a clinician who was in quite a bit of legal trouble for giving a patient or flyer on an alternative treatment. Now, you know I don’t want to get into politics, but we have a lot of debate around certain leaders touting unproven theories and therapies. And I’m all for protecting the public. I know that this is the board’s mission and in my academic writings I’ve written about how we have to balance this value against the value of autonomy, patient autonomy, choice, all of which is enshrined in the doctor, when informed consent.

I’m Michael H. Cohen, founding attorney of Cohen Healthcare Law Group, and our mission is that we provide legal strategies and solutions to businesses and practices that accelerate health and wellness. I am not a medical journal, but we believe that our clients do accelerate health and wellness, and they’re very dedicated. The clients that we have are intelligent, top of the line, top doctors, top entrepreneurs, people who have a vision of the new reality and how to transform the world into a better place. And we stand by them. What we do is we give preventative advice, whether they’re dealing with corporate practice of medicine, HIPAA, Stark, and a kickback, a lot of things that can get people into trouble.

Without divulging the facts of this particular pattern here, you know this clinician would have done better to seek legal advice. I always say, “Don’t roll the dice. Legal advice.” Something as innocent as giving somebody flyer now has landed this hero in a lot of trouble. And I just say to myself, “What are people thinking?” I have a lot of feelings about it.

My mentor at Harvard always encouraged me to be dispassionate, and so know that when you were in the hands of our legal team, you have a dispassionate, objective team. We’re also passionate human beings, and we believe in you and we believe in what you’re doing. Now, if you’re driving at 150 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone, we don’t believe in that. Obviously, we respect and uphold the law, I mean it’s our duty to interpret it. The law isn’t gray, you know like this bark isn’t really black and white, it’s very nuanced. It’s rich with color, and what we do is we dive into that richness and we give you our read, so that we can help protect and prevent injuries to your being, like the legal assault that this person unfortunately is now going to have to deal with. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Michael H. Cohen, Cohen Healthcare Law Group. And we look forward to speaking with you soon. If you have any questions, just click on the link, feel free to contact us, and we look forward to talking with you soon.


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