Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Book Review: The Law and Naturopathic Medicine Practice in Ghana – Prof. Nyarkotey has shown legal scholarship in Natural Medicine

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By Anthony Goodnuff Appiah Larbi, PhD Candidate

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As a legal researcher and ardent reader, when I was initially given this book to read, I set a goal for myself to finish it to learn what the author wanted his readers to know about Naturopathic Medicine and the law.

Prof Nyarkotey Obu is without a modicum of doubt, a notable researcher in the field of Naturopathic Medicine in Ghana, as well as a mentor to budding researchers. As far as the Ghanaian Naturopathic Medical Profession is concerned, he is well-known. This book as in Latin res ipsa loquitur means the thing (book) speaks for itself and Prof. Nyarkotey Obu has created a legacy in the Medical sector as far as the law and Naturopathic Medicine are concerned; he cannot be bypassed and would take decades for anyone to set new records in this field. His Name and Naturopathy in Ghana are analogous to the Ghanaian jurisdiction.

Despite its title, Prof Nyarkotey’s book is not limited to discussing exclusively Naturopathic medical practice. It includes an in-depth look at the Ghanaian legal system, which is taught at the LLB (LAW) level.

Never be concerned about the length of this book; it is well worth reading because the author has done extensive research on Naturopathic medicine across the world and its use in the legal arena. In Ghana, medical negligence trials receive less attention; the belief that “Fa ma Nyame,” to wit “Give it to God,” has taken hold in many Ghanaians’ thoughts, and the tortuous part of it is never subjected to legal scrutiny in our courts of justice.

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After reading this book, I believe that every law student should pay close attention to the topic of medical law, as medical negligence is growing more common in Ghana.

It is trite law that, everyone has the right to seek the type of medical care for himself as succinctly stated in article 30  of our 1992 Constitution; “A person who by reason of sickness  or any other cause is unable to give his consent shall not be deprived by any other person of medical treatment, education  or any other social or economic benefit by reason only of religious or other beliefs”.

It is time we give patients the right to seek their alternative medical care. Naturopathy is part of the alternative medicine system group. It is, nevertheless, a different system of medical practice in and of itself. Naturopathy, in its most basic form, is the practice of natural medicine with a focus on current scientific methodologies. This book does not criticize mainstream medical treatment, but it does allow medical practitioners to include a Naturopathy approach to treatment.

The intriguing part is that, after explaining the notion of medical law in Chapter Three (3), this book elaborates on the elements of medical and healthcare legislation. Are you aware that healthcare laws are more extensive than medical laws? Health law, on the other hand, encompasses a broad range of health-related rules, as well as procedural issues and the administration of the public health system. Medical law finds its use in everyday practice regarding patients’ health, such as life, physical integrity, health, self-determination, and human dignity.

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Are you aware that Ghana has a plethora of medical and healthcare laws? In this book, the author has included all of Ghana’s medical and healthcare legislation for simple reference. In Ghana, how much medical and healthcare legislation have you happened to read? When confronted with a violation of the Acts, one cannot claim ignorance of the law. As a result, medical and healthcare practitioners should read this book for the joy of learning more about their field of work and defying the odds in medical and healthcare practice.

The Law and Naturopathic Medicine Practice in Ghana is a genuine treasure trove of knowledge and thought-provoking analysis on the practice of Naturopathic medicine and health ethics in Ghana. It is written with clarity and attention to the numerous technical elements required to be relevant to health practitioners, law students, lawyers, judges, and others. This book will benefit a broader audience, namely, everyone who is interested in medical and healthcare policies in general.


Anthony Goodnuff Appiah Larbi

PhD Candidate in Development Studies

Africa Research University, Lusaka, Zambia.

Currently works at the Judicial Service of Ghana, Circuit Court, Cape Coast.

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