The Story of the Health Freedom Movement in Minnesota
Minnesota has a favorable legal environment for health care practitioners who are unlicensed, such as most most herbalists, homeopaths and traditional naturopaths are. That is because of the legislative reform efforts of activists to who pushed back against the repressive actions of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice in its efforts to shut down Helen Healy, ND, who, in 1995 was arguably the state’s most prominent naturopath. In 1995, Helen Healy was charged with the “practice of medicine without a license” because she was caught in the snares of the state’s overly-broad definition of the practice of medicine. Activists not only got the Medical Board to back off in its efforts to shut down Helen Healy; they also worked with an attorney, Diane Miller, to formulate a legislative reform bill that would carve out a “safe harbor exemption” within the unlicensed practitioners could safely do, helping their clients, without being accused of the practice of medicine without a license. After several years of intense grassroots educations and lobbying, the activists and their allies in the legislature succeeded and the Alternative and Complementary Freedom of Access bill passed both houses and was signed into law in May of year 2000 by Governor Jesse Ventura.
Leo Cashman is one of the leaders who co-founded the non-profit organizations that spear-headed the educational and legislative reform efforts. He continues to be active in those non-profits today and he also has served on the boards of two national non-profits that also promote “health freedom” around the country and that work nationally on behalf of various aspects of health freedom — parental vaccine exemptions, freedom of access to supplements as well as passing of safe harbor exemptions laws for unlicensed practitioners. Leo will present a power point presentation that shows who the players were 20 and 25 years ago, who they are toward and we will discuss what the ongoing issues are for the practice of health care and health freedom today. How must we be vigilant to protect our freedom today?
Leo Cashman is the executive director of DAMS, Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions, a non-profit educating the public on health issues in dentistry such as dental mercury, root canals, dental material choices and fluoride. He also serves on the boards of two Minnesota health freedom non-profits (one is 501(c)(3) tax exempt and the other is 501(c)(4),and two national non-profit organizations (one is 501(c)(3) and the other is 501(c)(4)). His college degrees are in physics and math, and he has tended to work in the administrative and accounting roles in the non-profits he is part of.. As a writer and speaker, he has often dealt with health issues and abut health freedom. He currently lives in St Paul, and his DAMS office number is 651-644-4572.