The Texas Society of Homeopathy (TSH) recognizes that practitioners of homeopathy should organize. This has proven, especially at the national level, to be very complicated. Existing attempts to organize have centered on medical training, homeopathy training, licensure, certification, or theory of homeopathy. Homeopathy is politically the weakest whole medical system in this country, in large part because there is no national organization which represents the interests of all homeopaths.
Organizing based on licensure or certification, the main ways our community has tried to organize, cannot be effective for at least two reasons.
* There is historically a strong feeling that the needs of the unlicensed homeopaths are different than those of the licensed.
* The regulation of health care practitioners is on a state by state basis. There is no federal regulation of health care practitioners. Each state has at least 20 different licensed health care modalities. This means that there are at least 1,000 different regulatory schemes that homeopathy could fall under. Many licensed health care practitioners cannot practice homeopathy under the scope of their license. The practice of homeopathy by unlicensed persons has statutory support in only 5 states.
Thus, it makes little sense for the unlicensed practitioners to distinguish themselves by lack of a license, since so many practitioners with licenses cannot practice homeopathy under the scope of their license.
What is needed is a mechanism for organizing based on criteria that is neutral with regard to training, certification, and licensure, and which fits with the existing regulatory environment.
Since health care practitioners are regulated on a state by state basis, it makes sense that the basic organizational unit is state based. Since training, licensure and certification cannot be justified as primary criteria around which to organize, it makes sense to organize around standards of practice.
The TSH has responded to these concerns with the model of self-regulation.
TSH is a 501(c)(3) organization, not a professional trade organization (501(c)(6)). Because of this, and because it wants to stimulate and support the ultimate formation of a professional trade society of homeopaths in Texas, it is planning to implement a new class of membership, the Practitioner Member (“PM”). Anyone who says they practice homeopathy in Texas can join, with the exception of practitioners who primarily rely on electronic equipment for diagnosis and/or treatment and practitioners who only use prepackaged remedies according to the labels. In other words, anyone who calls themselves a homeopath and uses Hahnemann’s theory of disease and the law of similars is eligible to join as a PM. The PM will be required to agree to abide by the Code of Ethics, including the dispute resolution procedures. All PM’s qualify to be listed on the website as a practitioner, and all listings will include educational and practice information.
The Code of Ethics will be the neutral rules around which the community of practitioners will organize. Since it is state-based it will be responsive to the unique regulatory climate of Texas, and can work most effectively with the Texas health-freedom movement, and other legislative, political and judicial solutions to regulatory problems. Within a relatively short period of time, TSH will encourage the practitioners to form their own trade organization.
Guiding principles from the Organon.
1. Organon § 1
The homeopath’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure.
2. Organon § 2
The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the subtle, spirit-like disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.
3. Organon §§ 4 & 5
A homeopath is a true practitioner of homeopathy when he or she understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, according to clearly defined principles. This will be the case if the practitioner:
- clearly perceives what is to be cured, that is to say, in every individual case has knowledge of the particular totality manifested in the Client;
- clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, for each individual medicine has knowledge of its medicinal powers;
- knows how to pick the correct remedy according to the law of similars and to use it appropriately in terms of dose and repetition;
- knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent; and
- knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.
Aspirational principles for the Homeopath as a professional health care provider
4. Dignity and self-determination
The dignity and human rights of the Client shall be recognized, remembered and respected at all times, with special attention to the Client’s right to self-determination and autonomy. comment
The Homeopath shall interact with the Client in such a way as to engender the Client’s trust in the Homeopath. The Homeopath shall behave respectfully, honestly, compassionately and courteously to the Client at all times, and maintain professional boundaries. comment
The Homeopath shall be loyal to his or her Client, and keep the Client’s confidences. comment
7. Avoiding harm
The Homeopath shall not take any course of action from which it is reasonably foreseeable harm could come to the Client, or refrain from taking a course of action when it is reasonably foreseeable such omission would result in harm to the Client. comment
The Homeopath shall take actions which benefit the Client. comment
9. Social justice
The Homeopath shall take actions that further the dignity and human rights of all people, especially with regard to the right to health, the right to make free health care choices, and the right of access to health care. comment
Prescriptive and proscriptive clinical practice standards
10. General Principles
Clients are entitled to a professional standard of practice and care, including a competent practitioner who has responsible and ethical relationships with her Clients, colleagues, profession and the public, who maintains appearances and is hygienic, and is responsible with staff, medicines, equipment, records and fees. comment
11. Nomenclature – Definitions comment
- Cure or heal
- Doctor or physician
- Energy or subtle or spirit-like
- “Finding the totality” or “taking the case”
- Clients, clients or consumers
- Vital Force
12. Competence of the Homeopath
The Homeopath shall not represent themselves to the public as being a Homeopath, and shall not accept money for homeopathic treatment, without adequate training and experience in the theory and practice of homeopathy and without training in basic allopathic concepts and language. comment
13. Use of other modalities
The Homeopath, if trained in and using other modalities, shall provide the client with the services the client requests, and shall not mix or confuse homeopathy with any other modality. comment
14. Provision of treatment
The Homeopath should make every reasonable effort to treat and continue to treat his or her Clients. comment
15. Controlled acts restricted
No Homeopath shall perform a controlled act as defined below in the course of providing health care services to an individual unless, the Homeopath is licensed by the State to perform the controlled act; or the performance of the controlled act has been delegated to the Homeopath pursuant to law; or the Homeopath is exempted by law from restrictions on the performance of the controlled act. comment
16. Allopathic Medication
A Homeopath shall not recommend to a Client to stop taking any allopathic medications that have been ordered by a Physician, unless the Homeopath is a licensed Physician and has expertise in the drug the Client is on and disease it is prescribed for. comment
17. Taking a case that has been treated by allopathic health care providers
A Homeopath should respect existing and ongoing therapeutic relationships the Client may have with allopathic health care providers. comment
18. Clients under the care of another homeopath
A Homeopath should respect their professional colleagues. comment
19. Client records, privacy and confidentiality
A Homeopath shall keep clear, detailed and accurate records relating to the care of the Client, and keep all confidences of the Client, except as otherwise required. comment
20. Free Consent and consent documents
The Homeopath shall keep a separate written agreement memorializing a person’s understanding and free consent to medical treatment, to be a research subject, or to let their records be used for educational purposes. comment
21. Availability of the Homeopath
The Homeopath should make his or her availability to see Clients clearly known. comment
22. Boundary Issues and professional conduct
The Homeopath shall maintain clear boundaries in all therapeutic, educational and supervisory relationships. comment
Homeopaths have the right to due process in the handling of complaints against them, and to be judged by their peers, and they have the duty to respond completely, honestly, timely and in a fair manner. comment
A Homeopath’s fees shall be appropriate and consistent with his or her training, experience, competencies, and community. comment
Relations with the public
25. Publicity and advertising
Advertisements, stationery and name plates should maintain a high standard of propriety. comment
26. Talking about Homeopathy and Client/practitioner rights
The Homeopath should be careful when discussing the theory and practice of homeopathy. comment
Relations with the Homeopathic Community
27. Membership in a trade organization
The Homeopath should belong to a trade organization. comment
28. Relations with colleagues
The Homeopath should maintain cordial and professional relations with his or her colleagues, regardless of educational background. comment
29. Auditing the Practice
The Homeopath should have procedures in place to audit his or her practice. comment
Guidance in specific areas
30. Public health notifiable diseases
It is required by law in every state to report certain diseases to the public health authorities. The Homeopath should report these cases as appropriate. comment
31. Other important conditions when Client confidentiality may be violated
The Homeopath may be required, ethically or legally, to violate Client confidentiality in any of the following circumstances:
- child or elder abuse;
- pursuant to valid court order;
- suspicion of notifiable disease (see Appendix 4);
- the Client presents a danger to themselves or others;
- as required by other law, such as HIPAA; or
- in an emergency situation when there is a reasonable likelihood the information will result in the prevention of imminent serious harm. comment
Homeopaths should not tell a Client, directly or indirectly, that a homeopathic remedy, or combination of them, is a vaccine or can act in lieu of a vaccine. comment
The possibility of aggravations should be disclosed to the Client as part of the free consent process. comment
34. Disclosure of the remedy and use of placebo
The disclosure of the identity of the remedy and the Homeopath’s use of placebo, as part of case management, should be discussed and agreed to in the free consent process. comment
35. Vulnerable Clients – surrogate decision makers
The Homeopath should be mindful when treating Clients who cannot make their own health care decisions that there are potentially several parties who have an interest in the health care decisions. comment
36. Provings or primary homeopathic research
Homeopaths, in the course of their career, should be subjects in provings, should encourage others in the community to engage in provings, and should conduct provings, if opportunity, training and interest coincide. comment
37. Protection of research subjects
Homeopaths who sponsor, design and conduct, or participate in, provings other than as a subject are responsible to insure the protection of research subjects. comment