Michael H. Cohen: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Legal Issues

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Hello. I’m Michael H. Cohen. I’m principal in the Michael H. Cohen Law Group in Beverly Hills, California. Many of my clients are medical doctors. Many of my MD clients practice in the area of complementary or integrative medicine or functional medicine or they’re using very innovative therapies to help their patients.

Integrative medicine docs often face standard of care challenges, both from the medical board and on the patient side. One of my clients decided that he no longer wanted to practice conventional medicine but that he wanted to specialize in offering homeopathic medicine to his patients who could not find good treatment through conventional care. So for these patients, homeopathy was a medicine of last resort.

My client is an honest clinician who was practicing in a medically-responsible way. Nonetheless, because he chose to do something different and very selective, the medical board opened up an investigation. Part of my job was to help negotiate the situation with the medical board so that they could understand the agreement that my physician client was making with his patient, that it was not a standard of care issue, that it was medically responsible, and therefore legally acceptable.

As a result of this negotiation, the investigation closed. My medical doctor client retained his license, and he’s practicing happily today.

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