S.P. 784 - L.D. 2199
An Act Concerning Licensure of Chiropractors
Emergency preamble. Whereas, Acts of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, an opinion of the Department of the Attorney General dated February 18, 1999 concludes that acupuncture is not within the scope of chiropractic practice; and
Whereas, this opinion has created considerable confusion as to whether chiropractors may continue to use acupuncture as a method of treatment; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 32 MRSA §451, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 1983, c. 113, §1, is amended to read:
1. Chiropractic. "Chiropractic" means the art and science of identification and correction of subluxation and the accompanying physiological or mechanical abnormalities. The term subluxation, as utilized within the chiropractic health care system, means a structural or functional impairment of an intact articular unit. "Chiropractic" includes chiropractic acupuncture. Chiropractic recognizes the inherent recuperative capability of the human body as it relates to the spinal column, musculo-skeletal and nervous system.
Sec. 2. 32 MRSA §451, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
1-A. Chiropractic acupuncture. "Chiropractic acupuncture" means the insertion of acupuncture needles through the skin at specific points. It is a chiropractic methodology used for the correction of the soft tissue components contributing to subluxation and the accompanying physiological or mechanical abnormalities. Except as provided in section 502, chiropractic acupuncture may only be practiced by a licensee who has received a chiropractic acupuncture certification from the board.
Sec. 3. 32 MRSA §502, first ¶, as repealed and replaced by PL 1991, c. 392, §3, is amended to read:
The board shall meet at least twice each year at such times and places as its chair may designate to consider applications, examine applicants and consider such other business as may properly come before the board. At its first meeting in each calendar year, the board shall elect one of its members as chair for a term of one year and one of its members as secretary to hold office at the pleasure of the board. Special meetings may be called at the pleasure of the chair and, in case of the death or inability of the chair, the secretary may call special meetings. The board shall keep correct records of all proceedings. The chair and secretary are empowered to administer oaths in matters connected with the duties of the board. The records, or duplicates of the records, must be open to inspection and are prima facie evidence of all matters recorded in the records. Four members of the board constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a license to practice chiropractic may not be granted except on an affirmative vote of at least 4 members of the board. The board has the power to make and adopt rules and a code of ethics consistent with law necessary for the enforcement of its authority, the performance of its duties and the governing of the practice of chiropractic, but a rule or code of ethics may not be made that is unreasonable or contravenes this chapter. The board shall adopt rules, which are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A, authorizing and governing the use of chiropractic acupuncture by certified licensees. The rules must set forth the requirements for chiropractic acupuncture certification, which must include, but are not limited to, a minimum number of classroom hours of education in acupuncture theory and techniques; a component of supervised clinical acupuncture training or documented clinical acupuncture experience for licensees practicing chiropractic acupuncture prior to April 30, 1999; and instruction in exposure control for blood-borne pathogens and registration as a biomedical waste generator pursuant to Title 38, section 1319-O, subsection 3. Licensees who can prove to the satisfaction of the board that they were engaged in the practice of chiropractic acupuncture prior to April 30, 1999 may continue to practice chiropractic acupuncture but must comply with all of the certification requirements set forth in board rules within 2 years from the adoption of the rules. In establishing the rules and code of ethics, the board must, in addition to the standards set forth in this chapter, be guided by the following standards setting forth conduct deemed unprofessional:
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this Act takes effect when approved.
Effective May 17, 1999.
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