AHA News |  

Secular Recovery Programs to Be Approved by Massachusetts Medical Officials

For Immediate Release

Contact: William Burgess, bburgess@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x 102

(Washington, DC, June 10, 2013) — Massachusetts state medical authorities have responded positively to a request to make available secular alternatives to religious 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, for those facing disciplinary action. The change was requested by attorneys with the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center in response to a complaint from a local doctor being scrutinized by the State Board of Registration in Medicine (BRM). 

The BRM contracts with the Physician Health Services, Inc. (PHS) to develop treatment plans for its doctors with substance abuse problems. Up until now, the PHS has not made it explicitly clear to doctors they can attend secular alternatives to faith-based programs.

While BRM and PHS officials have agreed that treatment options should not be limited to sectarian-based groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, attorneys with the American Humanist Association’s legal center continue to work with them on official wording to ensure it’s clear that secular options such as SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery are also acceptable.

“Compliance with the Constitution requires that participation in religious programs can’t be dictated or coerced,” said Monica Miller, an attorney and legal consultant with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The willingness state medical officials have shown in resolving this problem is reassuring.”

Details can be found here.

###

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington D.C., its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across the United States. Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and The Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

American Humanist Association

Check out what the AHA staff is watching! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertain...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here's another installment of Carl Coon’s ongoing “A Short History of Evolution”...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Five Non-Magic Words: “How Can I Help You?” Advancing the Humanist Chaplaincy h...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia C...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new affiliate, Deltona Humanist, to the American Humani...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Idaho Humanists, check out this Summer Day Camp for Kids! For more information...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out Executive Director Roy Speckhardt's new Huffpost article, Pandora's Bo...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Freedom from Religion in Kazakhstan: An Interview with Atheist Blogger Aleksand...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is A. Philip Randolph's 125th birthday. He was the American Humanist Assoc...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did you know about some of these official State Symbols? http://thehumanist.com...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanevangelist: Skyfall, Humanist Style by Clay Farris Naff. http://thehu...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you, or someone you know, be a good fit for the American Humanist Associat...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an interesting letter to the editor of The Press Enterprise. http://www...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy 271st Birthday Thomas Jefferson! Read Jefferson's wall of separation lett...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good so there are options... Happy Friday Everyone!! http://obscureinternet....

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Bible According to Thomas Jefferson. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are getting ready! Are you? Register today! http://conference.americanhumani...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Inheriting the Wind by Daniel Thomas Moran! http://thehumanist.com/arts_enterta...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! What did the July/August, 1981 issue of the Humanist magazi...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good! Now we can all relax... Science is here! Four Blood Moons: Total Lunar...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this info-graph from the Public Religion Research Institute. http://...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: House Rules. By Luis Granados http://thehumanist.com/ne...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another installment of Carl Coon's A Short History of Evolution. This week's top...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Matthew Bulger reports from On The Hill. http://thehumanist.com/news/nati...

11 days ago