At Citizens for Choice in Health Care, we take pride in being health freedom advocates; however, not many people know the principles behind health freedom and what its advocates stand for. This short article summarizes what proponents of health freedom value and strive towards.
Health freedom refers to a social movement among alternative medicine organizations, consumers, activists, practitioners and manufacturers. Its main tenets include the following principles:
- Conventional medicine covers a very small subset of existing health techniques – the remainder of which fall into the category of alternative practices. Individuals have the right to choose their health treatments, even when these treatments fall into the latter category.
- Such alternative health practices should not be regulated in the same manner as conventional medical practices.
- Natural health products such as vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids and other food supplements should not be regulated as drugs. They should have their own separate regulatory category apart from food and drugs which is uniquely catered to their needs according to their general safety.
- Protection and wellness should be given a legislated place in our society. By encouraging people to take care of themselves, costs to themselves and society are greatly reduced with prevention overriding the rising costs of public healthcare.
- Increased access of individuals to alternative health care treatments.
- The promotion of access to all health care information, services, treatments, and products that the people deem beneficial for their own health and survival; to promote an understanding of the laws and factors impacting the right to access; and to promote the health of the people of this nation.
Health freedom is a political and health philosophy based in the belief that governments and medical agencies need to be held accountable, might not have the individual’s best health interests in mind, and that access to alternative medicine practices and products is a basic necessity and right of all individuals.