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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 268: Powers and duties of board of registration in naturopathy

Section 268. (a) The board shall have the following powers and duties:

(i) to adopt rules and regulations governing the licensing of naturopathic doctors and the practice of naturopathic health care to promote public health, welfare and safety including, but not limited to:

(1) regulations governing the activities of naturopathic assistants;

(2) requirements for specialty practice by licensed naturopathic doctors; and

(3) continuing education requirements for the renewal of licenses including, but not limited to, the number of hours required, the subjects required and board approval of continuing education programs or lectures;

(ii) to receive, review and approve or disapprove applications for licensing and to issue licenses;

(iii) to establish administrative procedures for processing applications and renewals;

(iv) to provide a uniform, proctored, psychometrically-sound examination to license naturopathic doctors, which shall adequately test the diagnostic and therapeutic skill of license applicants; provided, however, that the board may adopt a standardized national examination, including the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination or its equivalent; and provided further, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the board from administering a licensing examination developed in cooperation with other state licensing authorities;

(v) to establish a code of ethics for naturopathic doctors;

(vi) to establish and maintain records of its actions and proceedings in accordance with the public records laws; and

(vii) to perform other functions and duties necessary to carry out sections 266 to 274, inclusive.

(b) The board may investigate all complaints relating to the proper practice of naturopathy, including any violations of this chapter or of any rule or regulation of the board. Complaints may be brought by a person or by the board.

(c) The board shall be under the supervision of the department of public health and it shall have the powers and duties provided in sections 61 to 65E, inclusive. For the purposes of this section and sections 61 to 65E, inclusive, conduct which places into question the holder's competence to practice naturopathy shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) the commission of fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license;

(ii) criminal conduct which the board determines to be of such a nature as to render the person unfit to practice naturopathy, as evidenced by criminal proceedings resulting in a conviction, a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere or an admission of sufficient facts;

(iii) violation of a rule or regulation of the board;

(iv) failure to cooperate with the board or its agents in the conduct of an inspection or investigation;

(v) failure to fulfill continuing education requirements set out by the board;

(vi) aiding or abetting an unlicensed person to practice naturopathy; or

(vii) negligence in the course of professional practice.

(d) The board may issue an order to a licensee directing the licensee to cease and desist from unethical or unprofessional conduct if the board finds, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing, that the licensee has engaged in such conduct.

(e) Nothing in this section shall limit the board's authority to impose sanctions that are considered reasonable and appropriate by the board. A person aggrieved by any disciplinary action taken by the board under this section or taken due to a violation of any other law, rule or regulation may, pursuant to section 64, file a petition for judicial review.