treatment for specific diseases or specific symptoms ---- it only enhances the general health, and improves the level of wellness of the patient.
A doctor can do the above counselling himself or train his nurse to do it. A busy doctor might prefer to refer this counselling and monitoring responsibility to A RELAXATION CLINIC.
LEGAL ASPECTS OF MEDITATION There is nothing illegal or unethical for licensed physician to refer a patient for meditation and relaxation.
In a letter to H. Reid Shaw Esq., legal counsel for the Chief Editor, dated Sept.3, 1980. the State Education Department of New York State said, “Relaxation training, youga or meditation therapy are terms which are not defined in New York State statute or regulations. A physician may, of course, refer a patient to unlicensed personsl for purposes which are not restricted by any licensing stature. Referrals to a clergyman would be one example.
The state Education Department went one to say, “Any representation by the physician that the person to whom the referral was made was qualified to engage in the practice of medicine or any other licensed profession, could be mis-leading and could lead to charge of professional misconduct. If the person to whom the referral was made participated in any way in the physician’s fees or engaged in acts which constituted the practice of medicine, the physician could be subject to charge of professional misconduct based upon fee splitting. Or upon aiding and abetting an unlicensed person in the practice of medicine. The definition of the practice of medicine is set forth in Education Law Section 6521.” (For the text of Education Law Section 6521, see subsection 4 of Appendix.)
Since Providing instructions in meditation and relaxation is not delivery of medical care------- i.e. diagnosis and treatment of pathological states is not the purpose of meditation and remeditation and relaxation teacher is qite legal. Such referral is as legal as referring a patient to practise swimming every morning for half an hour in a Y.M.C.A. swimming pol. If the physician explains to the patient according to the section in this chapter: “What is Meditation and Relaxation? How is it classified?”, he has fulfilled his duty already.
Concerning the ethical aspects of a licensed physician referring patients for meditation and relaxation and judging form the above opinion of the State Education Department and other facts of which we are cognisant, one can safely say that it is quite ethical to do so provided that the physician has arranged for the patient to receive the best possible medical care currently available and has disclosed fully to the patient the rationale, the possible benefits and side effects associated with the practice of meditation and relaxation. The interested physician can satisfy the above requirements by delegating the above responsibility to a Relaxation Clinic where a licensed physician and his staff registered nurses fulfill that responsibility for the busy family doctors.
THE BUSY DOCTOR AND OUR CLINIC The Relaxation Clinic does not give in struction in relaxation, meditation and biofeedback. It functions as a bridge between the busy medical practitioners and the relaxation meditation programs.