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Oklahoma’s freedom-to-practice clause

Oklahoma’s “Allopathic Medical and Surgical Licensure and Supervision Act” is long and convoluted. But the state may have the simplest “health freedom act” to date.

It guarantees that alternative practitioners have the right to practice with just two short clauses in the medical practices act.

The two clauses clearly exempt alternative practitioners from prosectuion for practicing medicine so long as they do not hold themselves out to be medical doctors. Significantly, the first clause exempting alternative healing practices is in the second sentence of the law:

Ҥ59-480. Short title РIntent РDefinitions.
“Sections 481 through 518 of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Oklahoma Allopathic Medical and Surgical Licensure and Supervision Act’. It is the intent that this act shall apply only to allopathic and surgical practices and to exclude any other healing practices. Allopathy is a method of treatment practiced by recipients of the degree of Doctor of Medicine, but specifically excluding homeopathy. The terms medicine, physician and drug(s) used herein are limited to allopathic practice.
“Added by Laws 1994, c. 323, § 1, eff. July 1, 1994.”

Also, at the very end of 59:480, we find:

“F. Nothing in the Oklahoma Allopathic Medical and Surgical Licensure and Supervision Act shall prohibit services rendered by any person not licensed by the Board and practicing any nonallopathic healing practice.”

That about covers it, doesn’t it?

Alternative practitioners in Oklahoma need to be careful about how they use their title if they hold a doctorate. Section C:5 of the medical practice act says:

“C. The definition of the practice of medicine and surgery shall include, but is not limited to… (t)he use of the title Doctor of Medicine, Physician, Surgeon, Physician and Surgeon, Dr., M.D. or any combination thereof in the conduct of any occupation or profession pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human disease or condition unless, where appropriate, such a designation additionally contains the description of another branch of the healing arts for which one holds a valid license in this state.”


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