Publication details

Právní aspekty léčitelství v mezinárodní a evropské perspektivě

Title in English Legal Aspects of Natural Healing in International and European Perspective


Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Časopis zdravotnického práva a bioetiky
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Field Law sciences
Keywords Natural Healing; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Evidence-based Medicine; Regulatory Framework; Licence for Healing; Czech Healthcare and Medical Law; Comparative Law; European Union
Attached files
Description Numerous medicinal practices from borderline medicine (balneology, psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy) through classic alternative medicine (homeopathy) and ethnic medicine (traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda) to manifest quackery are counted to natural healing. This phenomenon is controversial. Divergent terminology reveals it, if supporters and sympathisers prefer to label these practices as complementary and alternative medicine, while sceptics reject the substantive highlighting inefficacy and dangerousness. Some patients left unassisted with medicine desperately seek treatment for their diseases. Other ones prefer it because shortcomings of medicine. The paper analyses rules of Czech law towards various aspects of natural healing: practicing by laymen and physicians, trade in related products, propagation, and sanctioning of dangerous practices. Czech society has divergent attitudes towards natural healing. Politicians thus avoid address it. Inconsistencies can be identified in laws and in practice of administrative authorities and in case-law of courts. Professional community tackles with resort of many physicians to practices of natural healing. Generally, countries mix tolerance, restriction and acceptance, while reflecting different attitudes of their population and politicians towards natural healing. European and global political integration increases tolerance and acceptation. Liberalized international trade in goods and services including unhindered patient mobility reduces effectiveness of restrictions. The paper thus suggests partial recognition with specific legal framework for licencing and control. Natural healing cannot be eradicated without serious side effects in plural society in which individual freedoms are respected. Restrictions are feasible only in serious cases of damages and misuse.

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