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Peter McKnight: Naturopath’s lawyer offers unusual defense

Opinion: Lawyer argues naturopaths not ‘bound by science’ so lack of evidence for his client’s treatments for autism shouldn’t prevent him from offering the service

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When your lawyer defends your job by attacking your profession, you know there’s a problem with your vocation.

The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia has been cracking down on its members in the past few years, and naturopath Jason Klop is the latest to find he’s in its crosshairs. But Klop and his lawyer are fighting back, and in a most unusual way.

At issue is Klop’s use of fecal microbiota transplants — yes, that means exactly what you think it means — to “treat” autism in children. Klop manufactured the pills and enemas in a lab in his nephews’ apartment because his nephews provide the, um, raw materials for Klop’s products.

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Once the College got wind of this, it demanded Klop cease manufacturing and selling the pills and enemas tout de suite. Klop is fighting back, however, and has asked a court to order the College to lift the ban.

According to the CBCKlop’s lawyer, Jason Gratl, questioned what it would take to act in a manner unbecoming a naturopath given that naturopathy “is so broad and open to interpretation.”

And he followed that shot by arguing that a lack of scientific evidence for Klop’s treatments shouldn’t prevent him from offering the service because naturopaths “are not bound by science,” as they sometimes rely on historical or anecdotal evidence.

This portrait of naturopathy as a freewheeling, unscientific, undisciplined discipline raised the hackles of the College, which countered that naturopathy isn’t an “anything goes” profession.

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