Legal & Ethical Issues in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Legal and Ethical Issues in CAM in Australia with Prof Michael Weir LLM PhD, Jon Wardle PhD, and Jane Frawley ND.

Legal obligations in clinical practice is a serious topic that not many clinicians are fully briefed on. This was a very well attended presentation and generated a large number of questions. The presenters discussed the most clinically relevant legal and ethical issues in a panel discussion.

Current issues addressed included:

1. Customer complaints and legal challenges

2. Appropriate medical referral

3. Conflict of interest in product sales

4. Registration of CAM practitioners

Professor Michael Weir is Associate Dean (Research) of the Law Faculty at Bond University. Michael has broad professional experience as a solicitor in private legal practice. His research interest in Medicine and the Law is reflected in the text Ethics and Law in Complementary Medicine, Allen and Unwin (4th ed 2011).

Jon Wardle is a Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney and holds visiting positions at the School of Medicine, University of Washington and the School of Population Health, University of Queensland. Jon holds editorial positions on a number of journals, serving as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine and is a regular reviewer for peer-reviewed journals. Jon is co-editor of the text Clinical Naturopathy: an Evidence Based Guide to Practice, published by Elsevier which is used as a core teaching text for naturopathic programs in six countries. Jon has also worked on complementary medicine and primary healthcare policy in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and India. His research interests include health policy, professionalisation and public health and health services research related to complementary medicine.

Jane Frawley completed a post graduate programme at the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine (Swinburne University) and a Master of Clinical Science at Southern Cross University. She is currently completing her Doctorate within the faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney and is a researcher at the Australian Research Centre of Complementary and Integrated Medicine (ARCCIM). Jane is a member of the Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines (ACCM) for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and is chair of the Education Standards Committee for the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH).