If the blind lead the blind, both shall
fall into the ditch. - Matthew 24:15
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free. - John 8:32
PART 1: Let there be light
To: Dinnie Pearson, Barbara Mikos, and Bill Harvey (Pennsylvania Licensure Coalition)
From: Albert Schatz, Ph.D.
I am writing to request information about the following position statements in documents the Pennsylvania Licensure Coalition (PALC) distributed:
(a) "Licensure is first and foremost to protect the public from harm."
(b) "We [the Coalition] are working to create a bill which protects the public from harm."
(c) "State licensing will ... create educational requirements for that public protection."
Please give me the information requested in the following questions, tell me where you think I may have misrepresented PALC's position, and give me permission to publish your reply in this newsletter.
PART 2: From what harm does PALC
want to protect the public?
To evaluate whether massage is actually harmful, we have to know what harm has actually occurred. Actual harm is what insurance companies pay for in personal injury claims. They don't pay if someone was in a situation where harm was possible but did not occur. If they did, we would all collect money from insurance companies every time we crossed streets with heavy traffic. The information we want and which Pennsylvania state legislators need is: How much serious harm have massage therapists and other bodyworkers actually caused?
Have people been seriously bruised, had their skin torn, their hair pulled out, their shoulders dislocated by massage? Were any bones broken? Any internal injuries? Did anybody require treatment by her family doctors for injuries caused by massage? Was anyone rushed to a hospital emergency room? How many people filed personal injury claims against massage therapists in court?
1. Why hasn't PALC told us what harm PALC is talking about?
2. Since more people are struck by lightning than are seriously harmed by massage, what does that tell us about how harmful massage is and whether the public needs to be protected from "massage harm"?
So many human problems begin with someone saving someone else from something from which he hasn't been asked to be saved. - Glen Doman
The passion to regulate the lives of others is deep-seated in many individuals. When this is based on political expedience, it is bad, and when it is inspired by an idealism which wishes to inflict benefits on others, it can become dangerous. - Sir Arthur Amies
PART 3: In California, the legislature's
Sunset Process would requires
PALC to prove that:
(a) "The unlicensed profession is a serious danger to the public health and safety."
(b) "State licensing will adequately protect the public health and safety."
(c) "No other means can also protect the public health and safety."
Shouldn't PALC be required to submit the same proof to the Pennsylvania state legislature?
PART 4: Will PALC please tell us
(a) How many people have actually been harmed by bodyworkers in Pennsylvania?
(b) What was the nature of their injuries, and how serious were they?
(c) When and where did the injuries occur?
(d) What well-documented evidence unequivocally attributes the injuries to bodyworkers, and where is that evidence located?
(e) What training did the practitioners, who allegedly caused the injuries, have?
1. If PALC has this information and it justifies the need for licensure to protect the pubic from harm, why hasn't PALC made the information public, as PALC has made its three position statements (quoted above) public?
2. If PALC does not have this information, why has PALC submitted a proposed licensure bill to the Pennsylvania legislature to protect the public from harm?
PART 5: What educational requirements
has PALC created to protect the public
1. What evidence does PALC have that its educational requirements would protect the public from harm, if the public needed that protection?
2. From what kinds of harm will PALC's educational requirements protect the public?
3. If there is no harm, who needs to be protected from harm by PALC's educational requirements in PALC's bill for licensure?
PART 6: Do PALC's educational requirements protect the public from
harm by assuring competence?
1. Does PALC define competence as on-the-job performance?
2. If not, what competence does PALC have in mind?
3. How does PALC propose to objectively measure whatever competence it defines?
4. If PALC's competence cannot be objectively measured, how can PALC's educational requirements differentiate between competent and incompetent bodyworkers?
5. If PALC's educational requirements cannot differentiate between competent and incompetent bodyworkers, how can PALC's educational requirements protect the public from harm by supposedly incompetent bodyworkers?
6 If PALC's educational requirements cannot protect the public from that harm, of what use are PALC's educational requirements?
8. If PALC's educational requirements are of no use, why should massage therapists and other bodyworkers be required to pay their hard-earned money to satisfy useless educational requirements?
7. If PALC cannot provide convincing evidence that its educational requirements will protect the public from harm, why does PALC allege that its educational requirements will protect the public from harm?