American Civil Liberties Union Of Minnesota Applauds Governor Pawlenty For Signing "Massage Therapist" Bill

April 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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St. Paul, Minn - Governor Pawlenty signed H.F. 3708 into law today. Among the provision of this bill are changes for complementary and alternative health care practitioners. Specifically, this law deals with when alternative health care providers can engage in a private sexual relationship with former clients.

The law had previously barred alternative health care practitioners from engaging in a private sexual relationship with a former client within two years after the professional relationship had ended. The bill eliminates the waiting period. This change in law means that alternative health care practitioners will be treated similarly to many other medical care providers.

The ACLU-MN would also like to thank Representative Steve Simon for introducing the bill and working for its passage.

This bill arose out of an ACLU-MN lawsuit relating to an invasive investigation by the Department of Health into the private life of a massage therapist who married a former client after the end of their professional relationship. Volunteer attorneys for the case were Robin Wolpert and Mark Johnson of Green Espel, LLP.

"We are glad that the Minnesota Legislature and the Governor have remedied the law to ensure that the privacy rights of alternative health care practitioners are protected going forward," said Executive Director Charles Samuelson.

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