The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia protects the public by ensuring that naturopathic physicians in BC practise safely, ethically and competently. The College is pro-vaccination, holding the view that, for most patients and for the community, the benefits of vaccination vastly outweigh its risks.
Naturopathic doctors who do not comply with the College’s Immunization Standard are referred to the College’s Inquiry Committee for investigation.
The College has been reviewing the marketing materials of all registrants to ensure compliance with section 100 of the bylaws, the Advertising Policy, the Immunization Standard, and the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics as set out in the Guidelines on Advertising and Improper Inducements to Treatment. As a result of the College’s proactive review, 71 naturopathic doctors have been referred to the Inquiry Committee for investigation.
Only three of the 71 are under investigation as a result of claims related to vaccination.
The majority of the investigations relate to more minor issues or infractions of section 100 of the bylaws, the Advertising Policy, and the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics as set out in the Guidelines on Advertising and Improper Inducements to Treatment, and not to vaccination-related advertising. Any of these investigations, including the three regarding vaccination claims, could result in regulatory action including a range of sanctions.
The majority of BC’s registered naturopathic doctors have taken the initiative to make sure their websites, social media channels and other advertising activities are in line with the rules. Naturopathic doctors must always act within the scope of their practice based on their knowledge, qualifications, and skill, and must practise in a manner that is in keeping with their ethical, professional, and legal obligations.
“Members of the public must receive accurate information from regulated health-care providers. Advertising that has the potential to mislead members of the public may put their health at risk and is a serious concern of the college,” notes Phillipa Stanaway, Registrar and CEO.
Seventy-one investigations demonstrates that the College is proactively managing issues regarding advertising issues, including those relating to vaccination. The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia does not hesitate to act in the interest of the public and public safety.