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STATE | ASPS Fights Surgical Scope Expansion in New Hampshire

ASPS authored comments to the New Hampshire House Committee on Executive Departments and Administration regarding recently-introduced legislation that would allow naturopaths to perform surgery and oversee similar procedures when performed by naturopathic assistants.

This legislation is concerning as it allows doctors of naturopathy – who are not physicians - to employ naturopathic assistants to perform certain medical procedures and technical support services, including administering medication by intradermal, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injections. ASPS believes that allowing naturopaths to practice medicine without the requisite medical school and residency training – and to supervise naturopathic assistants outside of their scope of practice – would compound the risk to patient safety and lower the standard of surgical care in the state.

Furthermore, New Hampshire statutes stipulate that naturopaths shall not "practice or claim to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, chiropractic, physical therapy, or any other system or method of treatment not authorized..." This bill clearly violates that statute.

A clear lack of educational and training requirements for naturopaths – coupled with the scope expansion of naturopaths in violation of New Hampshire law – led ASPS to express opposition to this measure. ASPS will continue to monitor and engage necessary stakeholders on this legislation during each step of the legislative process.

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