AB 2393 - An act to amend Section 109335 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to cancer.
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Haynes (Coauthors: Assembly Members Cox, La Suer, Maze, and Samuelian)
This bill would allow alternative treatments for cancer, exempting physicians and licensed Naturopathic doctors from the current Health and Safety Code which makes it a criminal offense to offer safe, effective alternative treatment of cancer.
Currently, Section 109335 of the Health and Safety Code reads as follows:
The failure of any individual, person, firm, association, or other entity representing himself, or itself, as engaged in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or cure of cancer to comply with any of the regulations adopted under this article and Article 1 (commencing with Section 109250) is a misdemeanor. A third, and subsequent violations, of this section is a felony.
This article and Article 1 (commencing with Section 109250) shall not apply to any person who depends exclusively upon prayer for healing in accordance with the teachings of a bona fide religious sect, denomination, or organization, nor practitioner thereof.
According to the bills author, doctors' hands are tied when it comes to discussing all avenues of fighting cancer. Under current law, doctors that provide alternative treatments to cancer risk criminal prosecution. This bill would make it lawful for them to render advice and treatment of cancer with alternative methods.
Organizations in favor of AB 2393 feel that cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation attack all cells and are highly toxic. These mainstream ways to treat cancer may not be the best methods to employ for all cancer patients. CCHF suggests there are other ways to treat cancer which focus on reducing or removing the underlying cause of the cancer while enhancing the immune system so it will prevail over the cancer. This method involves taking a holistic approach which includes mind and body healing therapies, nutritional supplements, intravenous infusion of vitamins and other healing agents, detoxification and strengthening of the immune system by using natural substances to improve the natural healing potential of the individual. Under this treatment model, the patient is a full participant in every aspect of the plan, including its design. However, under current law, CCHF argues, physicians and surgeons cannot employ these methods without risking criminal prosecution. This bill would exempt these doctors from what they believe to be an outdated restriction.
The Senate Office of Research was commissioned, at the request of Senator Liz Figueroa, to conduct a study about the alternative treatment of cancer. This report was not available for the purposes of this analysis, but is expected to be made public in short order.
AB 2393 will need to go through committees and be passed by both the Senate and Assembly and then be signed by the Governor.
1) Creates a misdemeanor offence against any individual, person, firm, association, or other entity engaged in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or cure of cancer if that person, firm or association does not comply with provisions governing the treatment of cancer, including the requirement to hold a license issued expressly authorizing the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by use of drugs, surgery or radiation. Makes a third and subsequent violation a felony. Exempts any person who depends exclusively upon prayer for healing in accordance with teachings from a bona fide religious sect, denomination, or organization.
2) Requires a physician and surgeon providing cancer treatments to furnish a sample, at the request of Department of Health Services (DHS), for adequate testing of any drug, medicine, compound, or other entity used in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or cure of cancer.
3) Requires physicians and surgeons to inform breast cancer patients of alternative methods of treatment and urges them to provide information on alternative treatments to prostate cancer patients.
4) Requires an individual, person, firm, association or other entity engaged in or representing himself or herself as engaged in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation or cure of cancer to furnish DHS, upon its request, with a sample of any drug, medicine, compound, or device used or prescribed in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation or cure of cancer and to specify the formula and other necessary information as to the composition and method of preparation of the treatment. Makes a failure to provide the sample and comply with these requirements a presumption that the treatment has no value in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or cure of cancer.
5) Makes it unlawful and prohibits the sale, delivery, giving away, or administration of any drug, medicine, compound, or device to be used in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or cure of cancer unless approved under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or approved by DHS.
6) Exempts any drug, medicine, compound, or device used for investigational purposes or if the device is used within the scope of the physician and surgeon's practice.
As Amended: April 29, 2004
Exempts licensed physicians and surgeons from certain provisions governing the treatment of cancer. Specifically, this bill:
1) Allows a licensed physician and surgeon to render advice or treatment for cancer to a patient which involves an innovative medical treatment, an evolving medical treatment, a natural health methodology, a drugless methodology, or any combination of these.
2) Allows a licensed physician and surgeon to employ natural health, drugless or both methodologies as part of a complementary, combined, complimentary and combined, or modified conventional-allopathic treatment for cancer, instead of conventional-allopathic treatments.
3) Allows the physician and surgeon to act as an independent practitioner or as a partner in a shared practice with a conventional-allopathic physician and allows patients to be referred to them by a qualified conventional-allopathic cancer specialist.