The following new information regarding the College’s new Immunization Standard for naturopathic doctors in BC may have an impact upon your practice. We urge you to read it carefully and contact the College should you have any questions or concerns.
Changes to the College’s Immunization Standard
In response to questions from naturopathic doctors and from the public, the College has clarified its Immunization Standard. This replaces the previous Immunization Guideline. The new Standard clarifies that naturopathic doctors must not:
- Provide patients and/or the public at large with “anti-vaccination” and/or “anti-immunization” materials or materials regarding potential risks and harms of vaccinations, whether online or in print, other than those materials that would be necessary to obtain informed consent to immunizations; and/or
- Feature “anti-vaccination” and/or “anti-immunization” content in their advertising and/or marketing materials; and/or
- Counsel against immunizations and/or vaccinations absent a sound and properly documented medical rationale for doing so.
Further to the notice to the profession of last week, it is recommended that all naturopathic doctors examine their online marketing materials, including any communications on social media platforms, to ensure that their marketing is compliant with the College’s updated Immunization Standard.
Cease therapy prohibited
The College recently received information to suggest that some naturopathic doctors in British Columbia may offer and/or advertise CEASE therapy. The Board of the College has observed that offering and/or advertising CEASE therapy is inconsistent with the professional responsibilities of naturopathic doctors for three reasons:
- CEASE stands for Complete Elimination of Autism Spectrum Expression, a claim that is likely inaccurate, unverifiable, or likely to create a false impression of the results CEASE therapy may provide to patients, and may be likely to take advantage of the emotional vulnerabilities of autistic individuals and their parents and/or guardians, contrary to section 100(2) of the College’s bylaws and the College’s Advertising Policy.
- CEASE therapy is based on a theory that 70% of autism cases are caused by vaccination injury. This claim likely violates the College’s Standard on Immunization.
- The provision of CEASE therapy, insofar as it appears to promote rejection of vaccinations, medications, and other therapies, may be inconsistent with the standard of care for treatment of autistic patients.
Accordingly, the Board has determined that naturopathic doctors in British Columbia must not advertise or offer CEASE therapy. Any naturopathic doctor who provides CEASE therapy to patients may be investigated by the Inquiry Committee of the College and may be subject to disciplinary action.
It is the generally held view of the College, on behalf of the naturopathic medical profession, that for most patients, the benefits of the vaccinations recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control significantly outweigh the risks. The theory that vaccination injury is a cause of autism is not supported by scientific literature at this time. Therefore, naturopathic doctors must not counsel patients, including autistic patients and/or their parents or guardians, that vaccinations are a likely cause of autism. Any naturopathic doctor who counsels a patient and/or his or her parent or guardian that vaccinations are a likely cause of autism may be investigated by the Inquiry Committee of the College and may be subject to disciplinary action.
We thank you for your cooperation in these matters, and invite you to contact the College at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns.
Howard Greenstein, B.Sc., M.A., M.B.A.
Registrar and CEO