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RULE §573.17Alternate Therapies--Holistic Medicine

(a) Definition. For the purpose of this rule, holistic medicine means: the practice of veterinary medicine that believes in a blend of alternative and, if need be, conventional approaches of treatment in an effort to develop a system of complementary medicine to treat the whole patient. In practice, it incorporates less conventional methods such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and applied kinesiology, with more conventional methods, such as modern drugs, surgery and diagnostics. Use of holistic medicine in non-human animals is considered to be an alternate therapy in the practice of veterinary medicine.

(b) Use of holistic medicine in the treatment of animals. Only licensed veterinarians may use holistic medicine in the medical treatment of animals. No veterinarian may allow a non-veterinarian employee or other agent to perform holistic medicine in the treatment of an animal patient.

(c) Client Consent Required. Before holistic medicine may be used in the treatment of an animal, the veterinarian must obtain a signed statement from the animal's owner or caretaker acknowledging that holistic medicine is an alternate therapy in veterinary medicine and approving its use in the treatment of the animal. Before signing the statement, the veterinarian shall inform the client of the conventional treatments available and their probable ability to cure the problem. The signed statement shall become a permanent part of the patient's record.

(d) Standard Used in Determining Appropriate Use of Holistic Medicine. If the Board receives a complaint against a licensee about treatment involving the use of holistic medicine, investigation of the complaint may include opinions from other licensees who use holistic medicine in their treatment of animals. However, veterinarians who practice holistic medicine shall exercise the same degree of humane care, skill, and diligence in treating patients as are ordinarily used in the same or similar circumstances by average members of the veterinary medical profession in good standing in the locality or community, or in similar localities or communities, in which they practice.

(e) Other Board Rules Not Preempted. Nothing in this rule shall remove or limit in any way the applicability of other rules of the Board as they apply to the practice of veterinary medicine.

Source Note: The provisions of this §573.17 adopted to be effective June 14, 2012, 37 TexReg 4229

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