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Focus on the naturopath
The news about the death of several patients, which a medical practitioner is said to have caused, hit the medical practitioner association Union of German Medical Practitioners, Federal Association, very affected. “Actually grasping the pain of those affected, almost impossible if a difficult path to the search for relief and healing ends - you are our first priority - we express our warm and sincere condolences to all the bereaved and wish them a lot of strength for the time of farewell and mourning, ”said the association board.
After the deaths in a naturopathic cancer clinic in Brüggen-Bracht, the discussion about the work of naturopaths on all levels has flared up, although the investigation by the public prosecutor's office in Krefeld and the responsible Mönchengladbach police has not yet been completed.
The deaths in practice are extremely tragic for those affected and their families. The worst thing that can happen is without question if a patient is harmed or even killed if he fails to take necessary measures or take incorrect measures. The suspected authorities suspect that the use of 3-bromopyruvate is responsible for the deaths.
The comments and reporting on this case and on our profession are neither neutral nor factual. Press releases, which now question the entire field of activity of alternative practitioners, refer to the lack of training and the sluggish handling of exams and laws, put the whole job in a bad light. Even some politicians feel called to insist on reforming or even reinterpreting the alternative practitioner law. It should also be said that mixing with other health professions (“healers”) is completely wrong! Here one should speak clearly and objectively about the meaning and nonsense of such demands.
The alternative practitioner does not live in an area without legal rights - many laws and ordinances concern the professional profile and the activity, e.g. the Alternative Practitioners Act, the Infection Protection Act (IfsG), the Medicines Act, the Patients' Rights Ordinance and the Therapeutic Products Act and much more. The duties of the alternative practitioner include of course the duty of care, the obligation to provide information and documentation. There is also an obligation to provide further training, etc.
Not everyone is allowed to call themselves an alternative practitioner, the public mostly does not know that it is a “verified profession”. For the check it is clearly defined which knowledge in anatomy, physiology, disease theory, differential diagnosis and more you have to bring. The medical practitioner knowledge check is a prerequisite for admission to practice. If you consider that up to 70% of the candidates fail in the first attempt, you should free yourself from the idea that this exam is easy and that a lot of specialist knowledge is required.
But what are we talking about here: We are talking about disregard of laws, the crossing of boundaries by a single person, which without question, as can be seen on the website, has the concern to offer tumor patients and seriously ill people as specialists.
If the allegations and presumptions against the alternative practitioner prove to be true, this must be assessed with all consistency and rigor, because this would be a clear violation of the professional order and professional ethics of the alternative practitioner, who with his conscience and his own person must do so with the greatest possible care The patient's wellbeing and salvation.
It would be fundamentally wrong to transfer misconduct by a single alternative practitioner to the entire profession, as it has not been the case with doctors, nurses or geriatric nurses in the past. Healing is always a very complex topic and unfortunately there are black sheep in every profession that has to do with the healing of diseases.
It is very important to wait for the results of the prosecution at the moment, then to punish the violations of the individual and not to discredit an entire profession that is respected and desired by the population.
The most important thing here is the factual discussion in the interest of the patient. Also to transfer the occasionally envisaged Swiss model of naturopaths 1: 1 to the naturopath shows very considerable weaknesses, since the Swiss naturopaths were never equipped with the freedom of therapy of the naturopath.
It is precisely this freedom of therapy that has made the naturopath what he is, namely a contact person trusted by millions of patients who consult him regularly and for whom he is an integral part of the healthcare system. The alternative practitioner is restricted anyway by treatment bans (see e.g. IfsG) as well as by the exclusion of prescription drugs and narcotics and other measures. Presenting him as a doctor is therefore not entirely correct.
The professional associations provide the naturopaths with high quality education and training. The current legal situation is clear and the practicing naturopath knows and respects his limits and works independently for the benefit of the patient. We therefore see no need to replace the existing alternative practitioner law with a new one.