Complementary and alternative medicine and medical law

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Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Citation only

Weir, M. (2013). Complementary and alternative medicine and medical law. In R.G. Beran (Ed.), Legal and Forensic Medicine (pp.1281-1298). Heidelberg: Springer.

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© Copyright, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2013

2013 HERDC Submission. FoR code: 180199




This chapter deals with a selection of legal and ethical issues that apply to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) when provided by orthodox medicine practitioners or CAM practitioners. It defines CAM and outlines the regulatory challenges for CAM practitioners in a number of jurisdictions in relation to statutes which regulate “the practice of medicine.” It deals with the significant legal and ethical concerns that arise for the provision of CAM by orthodox medicine practitioners, normally referred to as “integrative medicine,” in relation to whether they are able to satisfy the standard of care for that profession and the possible professional consequences. The approaches that will minimize the chances of professional breaches by orthodox medicine practitioners will be canvassed. This chapter will also discuss the issue of to what extent (if any) do orthodox medicine practitioners have an obligation to provide information to patients about CAM and the extent to which CAM practitioners need to provide advice to clients about orthodox medicine options.

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This document has been peer reviewed.