MLN Vol.13.No.3

Massage Law Newsletter

Vol. 13, No. 3                                   ISSN 1073-5461                                    February 2000

WHY IS THE MINNESOTA CHAPTER 

OF AMTA SUPPORTING  A BILL TO REGULATE

MASSAGE THERAPISTS?

To: Gayle E. Burdick, Chair, Government Rela-tions. Minnesota AMTA Chapter

From: Albert Schatz. Ph.D. Editor

Your June 10, 1999, letter to me, told me: (a) You were sure I could understand the importance of information regarding the potential for harm. (b) The potential for harm is part of the Coalition's strategy with the Minnesota Legislature. c) Because of the importance of the potential for harm, you assumed I would understand why you would not share your information about the potential for harm with me since I am a devoted opponent of state regulation.

I believe I have a clear understanding of "the importance of information about the potential for harm with respect to state regulation that is promoted to allegedly protect the public from that harm.

My understanding is that the potential for harm refers to the likelihood that harm will actually occur. The risk of harm expresses the potential for harm, and is determined by how much well-documented harm has actually occurred, and how serious that harm has been. If no harm has actually occurred, the potential for harm  and the risk of harm range from zero to negligible.

Therefore, the potential for harm is  important,  only if well-documented harm has actually occurred in a significant number of cases and if that harm has been significantly serious. If serious harm has not actually occurred in a significant number of people, there is obviously no need for any law to protect the public from HARM THAT DOES NOT OCCUR.

I am therefore asking you, What well-documented evidence does the Minnesota AMTA Chapter have that reveals how many allegedly inadequately trained massage therapists in Minnesota have seriously harmed how many people during the past three or four years, and how serious that harm has been?

If the Minnesota AMTA Chapter does not have that information, why is the Chapter supporting a bill to protect the public from HARM THAT DOES NOT OCCUR?

I am opposed to state regulation with requirements that are unnecessary and unjustified because there is no well-documented evidence that they assure competence, quality of work, and client satisfaction; and are needed to protect the public from harm. I am opposed to state regulation which creates monopoly control which is described as follows.

It seems that proponents of licensing are hopeful that a state license would mean more money, status, and power. - Jerry A. Green, Attorney  for the California Coalition on Somatic Practices

 I think the move toward licensure is regrettable. I believe licensing creates state-sanctioned monopolies ... with the explicit goal of  'protecting the public,' but with the real effect of protecting those who hold the monopolies' respective entitlements, reducing information to the public, and restricting competition. - Don Schwartz.

Several of my reports in the Massage Law Newsletter clearly state that I am in favor of the self-regulation in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

Please give me permission to publish your reply in the Massage Law Newsletter on our web site <http://www.healingandlaw.com>.

Thank you.

cc:  Sheila M. Sweeney

Sr. Rosalind Gefre

Jackson Petersburg

A DECLARATION OF CONSCIENCE

WHY I AM OPPOSED TO STATE REGULATION,

NATIONAL CERTIFICATION, AND COMTA

Albert Schatz, Ph.D.

Truth for authority, not authority for truth.

Lucretia Mott

I need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt. William Lloyd Garrison

_________________

The research which my colleagues and I have done on the regulation of massage therapists is available in the Massage Law Newsletter on our web site <http://www.healingandlaw.com>. Volume 8, No.1 of the Massage Law Newsletter has references to my reports published in other periodicals.

My objective has been to provide people with well-documented information about this controversial issue so they can make informed decisions whether they are for or against regulation.

I don't make decisions for other people. If my research helps them make informed decisions, I have fully achieved my objective, whether they agree or disagree with me about the alleged need for state regulation.

I will admit I am wrong about anything I have published if anyone provides well-documented evidence that I am wrong. I will publish a statement that I am wrong, and also publish the evidence, which proves me wrong, on our web site <http://www.healingandlaw.com>.

I CHALLENGE THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH ME TO MAKE THE SAME COMMITMENT.

I feel the same way about state regulation that I feel about the United States. "My country right or wrong. My country if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." From a speech by Carl Schurz in the U.S. Senate. February 29, 1872

Until I am presented with well-documented evidence that I am wrong, my position is as follows:

There is no well-documented evidence that allegedly inadequately trained massage therapists have caused enough harm to justify the need to regulate all massage therapists to protect the public from that harm. 

I therefore believe it is wrong to require massage therapists to comply with regulatory requirements that they don't want to comply with. But massage therapists who want to be regulated should have the opportunity to be regulated.

I  support the self-regulation in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia because It provides regulation for those who want it, and permits others to  do massage without being regulated. This is democratic regulation.

I am opposed to state regulation because  there is no well-documented evidence that it is needed to protect the public from harm, to control prostitution, to assure competence, or for any other reason.

I am opposed to state regulation which I believe violates Constitutional  law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press; and prohibits discrimination, inappropriate governmental interference with lawful business, unfair trade practices, restraint of trade, and monopoly control.

I am opposed to state regulation which I believe violates The United Nations' International Bill of Rights "right to work" provision.

I am opposed to national certification because there is no well-documented evidence that those who pass the written examination are more qualified to do massage than those who fail.

I am opposed to the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) because there is no well-documented evidence that graduates of COMTA-accredited programs are more qualified to do massage than graduates of programs who are not accredited by COMTA.

________________

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not entirely absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.  Bertrand Russell

The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned, but 'tis still nonsense. Ben Franklin  

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