Complementary and Integrative Medicine Law, Ethics, and Policy

Bring Michael to your next conference or event to capture the imagination with a keynote speech or fact-filled breakout session on any aspect of healthcare law, regulation, ethics, or policy dealing with alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine. Michael tailors talks to each audience with specific examples from your organization.

• Can Integrative Medicine be Made Legally Defensible, Ethically Appropriate, and Clinically Responsible?
• Malpractice Liability Risk Management in Complementary Medicine
• Managing Credentialing, Discipline, and Common Practice Perils
• Herbal Medicine in Clinical Practice: A Medico-Legal Primer
• Spirituality in Healthcare: Opportunities and Legal Cautions
• Legal Boundaries and Ethics in Healing
• Future Medicine: Befriending Technology While Honoring the Soul


As an attorney and published author, Michael is an experienced speaker to such top medical schools, hospitals, corporations, and other organizations as Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Divinity School, the First International Congress on Tibetan Medicine, and the Society for Air Force Physicians. He has appeared in nationally syndicated radio interviews, television shows, and newspapers, from Discovery Health Channel to “Here’s to your Health,” the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, and Dynamic Chiropractic.

More Media Clips

Arguments over licensing will only get louder as alternative medicine grows more popular, Michael H. Cohen told the Independent Weekly in “Licensing Battle Brewing Over Alternative Medicine.”


Media Clips

Ethical analysis of CAM and the discussion of informed consent in particular are in their infancy,” Michael told Science & Spirit in “Spiritual Side Effects” (July-August 2002).


Contact Michael About Speaking

Contact Michael to inquire about speaking opportunities. View Michael’s upcoming and recent engagements.


Michael’s Upcoming and Recent Engagements

Upcoming and Recent

May 9, 2008: Michael H. Cohen speaks on “Legal Implications of Complementary and Alternative Medicine” at a conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Medical, Legal and Religious Implications, organized through the Department of Religious Studies at McGill University.

May 25, 2008: Michael H. Cohen speaks on “Legal Issues in Integrative Medicine Relating to Mental Health Care” at the 1st International Conference on Integrative, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ICAM) and Mental Health in Toronto.

April 3, 2008: “Medical and Physician Spa Practices: A Practical Guide in Avoiding Costly and Regulatory Mistakes,” webcast for lawyers sponsored by West LegalEd Center.

May 6, 2006: Michael H. Cohen speaks at a conference organized by the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Examiners on “Naturopathic Ethics in the 21st Century.” Greg Garcia, current Chairman of the Board of Naturopathic Examiners, shares the panel on ethics.

March 7-9, 2006: Michael H. Cohen is in Barbados at the University of West Indies.

January 3-11, 2006: Michael H. Cohen is in Boston at the Harvard School of Public Health teaching a winter session course on “Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy.”

December 2, 2005: Michael H. Cohen speaks on “Legal and Ethical Issues in CAM at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-Based Overview.” Workshop on complementary and alternative medicine legal issues included.

Michael H. Cohen in Dubai and Bahrain to speak on health tourism, complementary medicine, and regulation of alternative and complementary medicine providers.

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Internal Review Board, “Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Legal and Ethical Issues for the Clinician and Clinical Researcher,” March 16, 2005.

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Program, “Can Integrative Medicine be Made Legally Defensible, Ethically Appropriate, and Clinically Responsible?,” March 17, 2005. Syllabus. Link to M.D. Anderson site to view the video, Integrative Medicine: Can it be Made Legally Defensible, Ethically Appropriate, and Clinically Responsible?.

The Integrative Medicine Program of Spaulding Hospital, Energy Healing for Healthcare Professionals: Developing Your Skills (Boston, MA, Keynote, “Legal Boundaries and Ethics in Energy Work During the Clinical Encounter” (May 14, 2005)).  Syllabus for TalkConference Brochure.

Mount Auburn Hospital, Alternative and Mind-Body Approaches to Women’s Health, May 18, 2005, “Legal Issues in Complementary Medicine.”

Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, Botanical Medicine in Modern Clinical Practice, New York, NY, June 7, 2005,”Legal & Professional Considerations in Botanical Practice.”

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Medicine, June 8-10, 2005, “Legal Issues and Advice in Establishing a CAM (CIM) Center.” The CME is for to an audience of oncologists, internists, primary care providers, orthopaedists, rheumatologists, and CAM practitioners as well as students interested in these fields. Legal Issues and Advice in Establishing a CAM (CIM) Center” will be offered as a lecture and two workshops.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine CAM Center, “Liability and Other Legal Implications of Complementary, Alternative, & Integrative Medicine” (Weinberg Auditorium, Cancer Center, June 27, 2005, noon-1 pm).
Michael has spoken to audiences from such diverse affiliations as Harvard Medical School, Stanford University School of Medicine, the United States Air Force, and the Royal College of Physicians in London. From Harvard Law School to Harvard Divinity School, Michael intrigues audiences with impromptu humor, and an engaging manner that unites law, medicine, and spirituality, making complex concepts accessible and delicious.</hr=”1″>


Legal Boundaries and Ethics in Energy Work

Energy healing and other “frontier medicine” modalities present many legal and ethical boundary issues for clinicians. To canvass these, I’ve collected some possible clinical scenarios and different legal and ethical rules that may apply.


Legal Issues Regarding Complementary Therapies

Here is a sample syllabus for a Continuing Medical Education talk entitled “Legal Issues Regarding Complementary Therapies” (a/k/a, “Can Integrative Medicine be Made Legally Defensible, Ethically Appropriate, and Clinically Responsible?”)



This entry links to materials for various courses in the University of West Indies LLB Program at the College/University of the Bahamas.


Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy

Below is additional material for HPM 218 – Winter Session 2006 (Complementary & Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy).


Intellectual Property – More Materials

Patent law, copyright law, trademark law – more course materials follow.


Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy 2007 (HPM 218)

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy (HPM 218, 2007) at the Harvard School of Public Health – course website. Course materials follow.


Summary of Six Cases Addressing Physician Practice of Alternative Therapies

Below is a summary of six cases addressing physician discipline and/or medical malpractice for use of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies.


Naturopathic Scope of Practice

Naturopathic scope of practice varies by state, sometimes including such practices as minor surgery and sometimes excluding such things as lab tests.