Attorney General of Kansas — Opinion
February 20, 2002
Re: Public Health — Healing Arts — Kansas Healing Arts Act; Practice of Certain Naturopaths Permitted Without Approval by Board; Certain Activities Prohibited; Who May Enforce
Synopsis: The Board of Healing Arts is authorized to enforce K.S.A. 65-2872a, the naturopath statute. Additionally, upon request of the Board, the Attorney General or the appropriate county or district attorney may initiate an enforcement action in relation to the naturopath statute. Neither a professional naturopath association nor a lawfully practicing naturopath has standing to enforce the naturopath statute. Cited herein: K.S.A. 65-2857; 65-2864; 65-2866; 65-2872a.
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Carla J. Stovall, Attorney General of Kansas
The Honorable Gwen Welshimer State Representative, 88th District State Capitol, Room 281-W Topeka, Kansas 66612
Dear Representative Welshimer:
As State Representative for the 88th District you draw our attention to the naturopath statute, K.S.A. 65-2872a, which provides:
“Any naturopath who is a graduate of a nationally recognized naturopathic college as approved by the state naturopath association and practicing in the state of Kansas as of January 1, 1982, shall be permitted to practice in Kansas without approval by the board of healing arts. No naturopath shall be permitted to practice surgery, obstetrics or write prescriptions for prescription drugs.”
You ask who may enforce this statute.
The Kansas Supreme Court addressed a similar issue in the case of State ex rel. State Board of Healing Arts v. Beyrle when a naturopath questioned the Board’s authority, or standing, to challenge the constitutionality of the naturopath statute. In that case the Court stated:
“We hold that K.S.A. 65-2857 grants the Board the right to maintain an injunction or quo warranto action to enjoin or oust the unlawful practice of the healing arts. We also recognize that the provisions of K.S.A. 65-2864 require the Board to enforce the provisions of this Act and make all necessary investigations relative to alleged violations. . . .
“The Board has regularly employed counsel who can bring actions such as this one and we believe the right to bring such actions is not limited to the attorney general, county attorney, or district attorney. We hold the Board has the necessary standing to bring this action and raise the constitutional issues.”
Based on the rationale expressed in Beyrle, in our opinion the Board of Healing Arts is authorized to enforce the naturopath statute. Additionally, upon request of the Board, the Attorney General or the appropriate county or district attorney may initiate an enforcement action in relation to the naturopath statute. Finally, we note that pursuant to the rationale of Kansas Bar Association v. Judges of Third Judicial District, neither a professional naturopath association nor a lawfully practicing naturopath has standing to enforce the naturopath statute.
Very truly yours,
CARLA J. STOVALL Attorney General of Kansas
Camille Nohe Assistant Attorney General