The Lithuania parliament has legalised alternative medicine. The law is aimed at setting quality standards for the hitherto unregulated field, although critics say it endorses scientifically unsound practices.
The parliament needed to hold a second vote on the Law on Complementary and Alternative Medicine last week, after coming short of enough votes on the first attempt.
The changes are scheduled to come into force in 2021 and still need to be signed into law by the president.
The Ministry of Health notes that alternative medicine has not been regulated so far, allowing abuse by practitioners and providing no way for patients to seek redress in case of malpractice.
Critics, however, say that the parliament legalized practices with no base in science.
The law will make complementary and alternative medicine a licensed activity, covering the area of recreational, natural and popular medicine. People providing such services will need special education, depending on the area of their activity: medicine, rehabilitation, pharmaceutics, etc.
The new law defines healthcare practices that fall outside traditional medicine and sets quality and safety requirements for them. Such practices include dolphin therapy, leech therapy, canine therapy and so on.