Code of Conduct

The purpose of this Code is to set standards for all members of our organisation who are practising healing. It protects members and also provides a source of reference for these standards for the public.

In this revised edition, supplementary information has been included to provide additional points of reference for the development and maintenance of good practice when working with members of the public. This information is particularly, but not exclusively, relevant to healers working professionally (paid or unpaid) and/or within the health and social care sectors.

It is a requirement for all Students that they study the Code of Conduct from the beginning of their training as they will be expected to demonstrate a good working knowledge of the Code when attending their Healer Membership Assessment Panel.

Members in all healing categories should be fully conversant with this document. All Members must heal in accordance with the general principles of their training with The Trust.

Legal information contained within this Code of Conduct is correct at the time of going to press. In the event of questions or issues arising from this Code, members are advised to contact Central Office..

The Board of Trustees
April 2010


The Healer’s Promise

Section 1 Introduction

Section 2 Standards for Healers
The Healing Environment
Relationship with the Patient
Relationship with Self
The Act of Healing
Consent, Guidance for Healers, Supervision,
Personal Standards, Healing in Public, Private Healing

Section 3 Administration
Local Authority Regulations
Healer Referral Service
Healing Research
Corporate Documents

Section 4 Working with other Professionals
The patient’s General Practitioner (GP)
The patient in Healthcare or Social Care Settings
Healing and other Therapies
Treatment of Animals

Section 5 Working with Vulnerable People
Working with children
Working with vulnerable adults
Consent for Medical Treatment

Section 6 Legislation relating to Healing

Note: for ease of identification, the term ‘patient’ is used throughout to describe the person in receipt of healing and who, in other contexts, might be referred to as a client, recipient or healee.


The Healer’s Promise provides the foundation of the values with which healers aspire to work and to bring to their lives.

All who come to me for healing I shall treat with compassion

My attitude shall be non judgemental and caring

I shall be honest in my dealings,
And all that is said to me shall be treated with respect

I shall act with integrity and kindness

I shall consider my own wellbeing to be important,
And I shall endeavour to be true to myself

I shall attune with the Source of Peace, Love and Wisdom


1.1 In this first section the principles of The Trust are illustrated by our definition of Spiritual Healing and by the values expressed in The Healer’s Promise. Details of Membership are also outlined.

1.2 In the second section, entitled Standards for Healers, the standards expected of healers are set out for the compliance of members and to inform the public.

1.3 The third section deals with administration requirements for healers.

1.4 Those healers who wish to work with other professionals will find guidance in Section 4.

1.5 As a registered charity, we must conform to charity law. All healers are subject to legislation which refers directly to healing; this is listed in Section 6.

1.6 With an increase in legislation that could affect healers, additional background information is provided throughout this document that may be helpful. Where unforeseen circumstances are not specifically covered here, healers are advised to contact Central Office.

1.7 This Code is derived from the Constitution of the Charity and an acceptance of the Constitution is a pre-requisite for membership of the organisation,

1.8 Any changes in the Constitution will be notified to members who should ensure they are always familiar with its contents.

1.9 All members and staff will receive fair treatment in their dealings with the organisation regardless of gender, race, religion, political persuasion, sexual preference, age or disability.


1.10 When you become a member, you are joining a charity dedicated to bringing the benefits of Spiritual Healing to as many people as possible.

1.11 There are three categories of membership for practising healers:

• Healer Member
• Student Member
• Accredited Member

1.12 Associate Members support the work of the organisation, have medical or paramedical qualifications, but are not necessarily practising healers.

1.13 ‘Friends’ of the organisation give their support to the work of the charity by means of an annual subscription and are entitled to receive the quarterly members’ journal.

1.14 No category of membership allows members to present themselves as accredited tutors until the criteria required for this position have been fulfilled and appropriate training has been undertaken.

1.15 The Trust is a Member Organisation of UK Healers. UK Healers will register the names of all qualified healers who belong to recognised organisations (unless a healer indicates otherwise). Healthcare professionals and members of the public will then be able to check with UK Healers that a healer belongs to a recognised organisation. (This register will not be used for referral purposes.)


1.16 Spiritual Healing is the act of restoring the balance of the body, mind and spirit of the patient. It is a therapeutic approach that is natural, non-invasive and holistic and has the intention of promoting self-healing, and to bring a sense of wellbeing and peace to the patient.

1.17 It can be further described as a stilling of oneself to find the inner peaceful core, and to connect with the Universal Source of Peace, Love and Wisdom; then to channel that state through oneself with the intention of benefiting another person or situation.

1.18 Contact Healing is spiritual healing carried out in the presence of the patient who may be sitting on a chair or lying on a couch. The healer may lay hands on the patient [but note 2.16(b)] or the hands may be held away from the body. Permission is always sought of the patient before contact healing is given.

1.19 Distant Healing (or Absent Healing) is spiritual healing which is given when the healer is not in the presence of the patient. By attunement and visualisation, the healer seeks to promote the wellbeing of, and self-healing in, the patient. (This form of healing is not recognised in law and thus does not carry the same restrictions as contact healing.)

1.20 Spiritual healing is offered as complementary, and not as an alternative, to prescribed medical treatment.


The Healing Environment

2.1 Healers have a duty of professional responsibility towards patients at their first point of contact, before a contract has been entered into, and irrespective of whether or not they are charging for their services. They should always act lawfully, with integrity, courtesy, discretion and tact towards their patients, and should uphold the trust placed in them. They should never behave in a manner that is not within the recommendations of this Code of Conduct or that could bring the organisation into disrepute, including forming an intimate relationship with a patient. They should not discriminate on grounds of gender, race, religion, political persuasion, sexual preference, age or disability.

2.2 Healing can take place anywhere. Healers should always do their best to ensure that the working conditions are suitable and conducive to an appropriate atmosphere. Intrusions of sound and smell should also be taken into consideration.

2.3 Healers should understand the importance of making a risk assessment of any environment where they will give healing, on each occasion that healing is given. This will include ensuring that anyone attending for healing does not come into contact with anything dangerous i.e. items that can be fallen over or slipped on, such as uneven floors, rugs, wires, etc.

2.4 Healers should always have evidence available of current membership of the organisation when healing i.e. membership card and/or membership certificate.

Relationship with the Patient

2.5 Before healing commences, a description should be given of the process and how it is generally experienced.

2.6 Healers must not make a diagnosis or claim an ability to cure. It is attunement to the Highest Good that is important.

2.7 Healers are to ask new patients whether they have seen a doctor concerning their condition. If they have not seen a doctor, they are to be advised to do so and this should be noted on their record card.

2.8 Healers do not express or discuss their personal beliefs and views with a patient unless invited to do so. This should always be done simply and discreetly and should not interfere with the purpose and conduct of the healing session. Healers should always respect the religious, spiritual and personal views of others.

2.9 Students should advise a patient that they are under training with the organisation and should ask the patient’s agreement before giving healing.

2.10 The presence of another person who is acceptable to both parties is very strongly advised when healing in a private setting, particularly if the patient is of the opposite sex. This may also need to be considered in certain circumstances with someone of the same sex. Healers should never assume that it is acceptable to have a third person present without first obtaining the patient’s permission. Third parties present during healing may include a carer, signer or an interpreter, however, they should only ever be present with the express consent of the patient. The presence of a third party ensures the safety and protection of all concerned, particularly when healing in a home environment.

2.11 Healers should never be intrusive and should give healing only in response to an invitation.

2.12 Distant or absent healing may be sent without the consent of the patient, but is usually at the request of a patient’s family or friends and is often with the knowledge and consent of the recipient.

Relationship with Self

2.13 Healers shall aspire to good health and make every effort to ensure that they themselves are fit to practice. It is strongly advised that they do not give healing if they are not medically and/or psychologically fit to do so.

2.14 Healers should recognise their own limits (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), and should be aware of their own vulnerability. In order to remain in balance, it is advisable for healers to accept healing from time to time, and so be in the most effective state of mind and spiritual health when giving healing to others. For the same reason, daily spiritual practice is also strongly recommended.

2.15 Healers will seek to improve their self-awareness, knowledge and abilities through Continuing Personal/Professional Development (CPD). Although CPD is currently not compulsory for healers, it is recommended for those working professionally and/or within the healthcare sector, whether paid or voluntary. Continuing Personal Development in some form is perceived as valuable for all healers, irrespective of the context in which they work.

The Act of Healing

2.16 Consent for Healing
Distant Healing is an activity not conceptualised in current law, and so is not included in this definition.

(a) Healers must always ask permission from the patient before contact healing, as behaviour towards or treatment of any person without appropriate consent may constitute harassment or an assault in law. For this reason, consent to touch must always be obtained from a patient.

(b) Healers should never seek to touch in a manner or place that is inappropriate and should always respect the patient’s wishes. Healers should always be aware that what is considered appropriate will vary across different cultures.

2.17 Guidance for Healers
(a) Healers should never treat a patient for conditions that exceed their capability, training and competence. In these circumstances the healer should always refer the patient to a more experienced and suitably qualified practitioner.

(b) The HIV virus is only communicable through patient's secretions and open wounds; thus, if neither the patient nor the healer has a wound or abrasion, then healing with hands either on or off the body is quite safe.

(c) Healers should never ask a patient to remove clothing except for outdoor clothing, shoes and possibly spectacles.

(d) Healers should not use manipulation or massage during spiritual healing, but it is acceptable to gently rest the hands on the shoulders (with the permission of the patient) to assist relaxation.

(e) Healers should always ensure that those who have received healing are well-grounded and in a state of full consciousness before departure.

(f) Healers should not refer to spirit messages, spirit guides, angelic forms, deceased relatives or offer a clairvoyant reading during, or after, a healing session.

(g) Healers should only heal in a conscious state of attunement. Trance healing and psychic surgery are not covered by the Charity’s insurance.

2.18 Supervision
Students should mention that sometimes they will need to discuss difficult issues and cases with their Mentor as part of their Continuing Professional Development. Patients can be reassured that in these circumstances they would never be identified.

2.19 Personal Standards
Healers should always dress appropriately when giving healing. Good standards of personal cleanliness and hygiene are important, and breath should be clear and fresh. Strong perfume, deodorant and aftershave could trigger allergic reactions in some patients.

2.20 Healing in Public
(a) When healing in public at exhibitions or during demonstrations, the Act of Healing should always be given in the manner described in the current training notes.

(b) A Healer Member should always be in attendance at events when healing is being given to the public.

(c) Students giving healing at exhibitions and similar events must have completed Training Courses Parts 1 & 2 (or equivalent). Additional guidance notes are available for exhibitions and should always be used by those organising and/or participating.

2.21 Private Healing
Providing they comply with the Charity’s Code of Conduct, healers may use their own discretion as to how healing is given within private healing contexts.


3.1 Records
(a) Healers should keep clear records of healing sessions. These are to be factual and avoid opinion.

(b) Records must be stored in a secure place, kept for a maximum of seven years and then securely destroyed.

(c) Records relating to a child must be kept indefinitely.

(d) Contents must not be disclosed to anyone other than the individual concerned and records must remain confidential (even after a patient’s death).

(e) Healing groups that have large numbers of people attending for healing, and therefore have a considerable number of records, should seek advice concerning whether a designated person needs to register as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office. []

3.2 Confidentiality
(a) When writing up their records, it is good practice for healers to keep in mind that patients may request to see them. Patients should be allowed to do so, unless the healer is otherwise advised by a medical practitioner i.e. there may be medical reasons why a patient would suffer from knowing the content of these records.

(b) In specified circumstances, the law can require any practitioner to come to court as a witness and disclose details of patient records and case notes and/or answer questions about the content of healing sessions. It would be an offence for the healer not to attend and original notes would need to be brought to court. Usually the court will understand and respect the wish of healers to keep client confidentiality, and only seek information if the court considers it absolutely necessary. (It should be noted that legal circumstances requiring disclosure are exceedingly rare.)

(c) Healers cannot therefore offer absolute confidentiality to patients, but need to explain, if asked, that confidentiality is subject to certain limitations.

(d) If a patient tells a healer during a consultation that they are considering, planning or have committed an act of terrorism or committed a crime under the Proceeds of Crime Act (which includes not paying Council Tax or fraudulently claiming Benefits), the healer must inform the police without informing the person that they intend to do so. If the healer tells the person what they have done, they can be subject to prosecution and imprisonment.

(e) Adult patients can, of course, give their consent for healers to disclose information, and may specifically request the healer in writing to do so. Except in circumstances required by the law, or local regulations on the protection of children and vulnerable adults, healers should not breach confidentiality unless they have the patient’s prior consent, which must be in writing and clearly dated.

(f) In law, children under 16 may also be able to request confidentiality in the same way as adults, depending on their age, maturity and understanding. Healers are advised to seek advice from Central Office should this issue arise.

(g) Confidentiality regarding younger children is always subject to the consent of those with parental responsibility for them, and to the law and the guidance in force for professionals relating to child protection.

(h) For public information, it is recommended that Healing Trust Centres have a notice on display stating the confidentiality policies being implemented.

3.3 Payment
(a) Healers may charge for their time and expenses. However they should always act with sensitivity and consideration regarding fees or donations and these should be clearly indicated at the time of enquiry. Due care should be taken to ensure that payment requirements are fully appreciated by those of possibly limited understanding.

(b) When working from a Healing Trust Centre, or in circumstances when working on behalf of the organisation (e.g. at an exhibition), all monies received, after payment of reasonable expenses, must go to the Charity.

3.4 Insurance
(a) Healers are covered by the Charity’s insurance for the act of Spiritual Healing carried out in accordance with this Code of Conduct. When healing at home, their house and contents may not be covered by their Household Insurance unless they have made suitable provision. At a minimum, healers are advised to inform their household insurance company of their healing activities.

(b) Whether healing in a public or private building, healers should ensure that the owner/leaseholder of the building holds a current, valid Public Liability Insurance certificate. Note: an Employers Liability Insurance Certificate is NOT the same thing as a Public Liability Insurance Certificate and is often shown in error.

(c) Healers are also recommended to check their professional indemnity cover to ensure that the amounts are appropriate and adequate for purpose.

(d) The Charity’s insurance does not cover members for the practice of other therapies.

(e) When healing on a couch provided by a Healing Trust Centre, the couch is covered by the Public Liability section of the policy held by the Healing Centre.

(f) In all other situations Healers are responsible for insuring their own equipment and should check that their household insurance covers the use of a couch.

3.5 Local Authority Regulations
Healers who are using their home as a place to give healing as a full or part time occupation or business are advised to ensure that they are complying with local government regulations. Local councils will advise on this.

3.6 Healer Referral Service
Healer Members should always keep in mind that an enquirer who has been referred by our Healer Referral Service has only requested spiritual healing. Prior and separate consent from the patient must be obtained before another modality can be used (see also 4.11).

3.7 Complaints
Healers are advised to respond to criticism and complaints promptly and constructively. A complainant should be encouraged to contact the Charity, where a Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure is administered that covers healers and members of the public.

3.8 Healing Research
Healers should refer to Central Office for guidelines before undertaking any research into healing.

3.9 Advertising
(a) If healers advertise, the content should be dignified in tone and shall not claim a cure or mention any particular disease. If testimonials are to be included, they should be with the written permission of each patient and they must be authenticated and approved by the NSO (National Standards Officer).

(b) Members should never use titles or descriptions for themselves or their treatment that may mislead the public.

(c) Healer Members may use the initials MNFSH after their name to indicate membership of the organisation or they may prefer to use the words ‘Healer Member of NFSH (The Healing Trust)’.

(d) Only Healer Members are permitted to use a business card or promotional literature bearing the Charity’s logo with only Spiritual Healing as a therapy mentioned. If other therapies are to be included then the Charity’s logo may not be used.

(e) Students must not advertise unless they have completed the basic Training Course Parts 1 & 2 (or equivalent, to be determined by Central Office). Attention should be paid to the Student Guidance Notes that accompany their acceptance into membership of the Charity. Student Members wishing to have a business card may not display the Charity’s logo; the word ‘Student’ must follow their name, if reference is being made to membership of NFSH (The Healing Trust).

(f) The Charity’s logo may only be used to advertise events that are being officially organised on behalf of the Charity and are approved by Central Office.

(g) Licensed Tutors are permitted to use the Charity’s logo when promoting the Charity’s healing courses only. They may not use the Registered Charity number.

3.10 Corporate Documents
(a) Only the Charity’s National Officers, Central Office, Regional Officers and Officers of our Registered Centres may use the Charity’s materials bearing the logo, such as headed notepaper.

(b) The Charity number is for sole use by the Charity and must not appear on any item not forming part of our official stationery or publications.



4.1 The aim of the Charity is to offer a service that is complementary and not an alternative to orthodox medicine.

4.2 Healers are to be aware of the rights of other professionals in both the orthodox and complementary fields and are to hold these in respect.

4.3 The Patient’s General Practitioner (GP)
(a) Government policy permits a doctor registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) to use or prescribe therapies, including Spiritual Healing. [DHSS letter UNP/13 0f 2.9.1985]

(b) A Government statement of 3 December 1991 confirmed a Registered Medical Practitioner’s right to delegate treatment of patients to specialists including complementary therapists. Either the Primary Care Trust (PCT) or GP practices can pay for such treatment. Alternatively patients may refer themselves to Healers and meet any costs involved.

(c) Healers or members of the public who wish to obtain more details of policy and practice of funding complementary therapies in their hospital or locality should ask their Primary Care Trust (PCT) or Hospital Trust for a copy of the relevant policy document. Some have Complementary Therapies Committees whose minutes may be published on the PCT or Hospital Trust website. Verified patient information sources are also available such as the Equip website [], which serves the West Midlands area.

4.4 When a medical doctor refers a patient to a healer, the doctor remains clinically responsible for the patient. In this instance it is good practice for the healer to send a progress report to the doctor particularly, but not exclusively, if requested to do so.

4.5 The healer should never countermand instructions or any treatments prescribed by a doctor.

4.6 The healer should not give advice to a patient on a particular course of medical treatment, a surgical operation or the taking of medication. It must be left to the patient to make their own decisions in the light of medical advice. If a patient has any doubts regarding their medical treatment, they should be referred back to their GP.

4.7 Diagnosis is the responsibility of the doctor. Healers should never give a diagnosis to a patient in any circumstances. If, however, healers are made aware of a condition that would benefit from further medical treatment, they should encourage the patient to seek further advice from their GP.

The Patient in Healthcare or Social Care Settings

Healers who wish to develop a relationship with a care home or hospice may find it helpful to first offer healing to staff members before arranging to give healing to specific residents/patients.

4.8 A patient in hospital or a hospice can freely request a visit from a spiritual healer. In some circumstances distant healing may be more appropriate.

4.9 When a healer visits a hospital or hospice to treat a patient, the following procedures apply:

(a) Healers should always obtain permission of the ward manager or deputy before seeing a patient.

(b) Healers should be dressed appropriately. A Charity lapel badge may be worn. A current NFSH Healing Trust membership card should be carried to provide ‘credentials’ if requested. It is important that healers should demonstrate their competence and confidence whilst in this public domain.

(c) Healing should be carried out without fuss. If no screens are provided, the healer should offer healing through the patient’s hands or by quiet, undemonstrative prayer.

(d) If, during the visit, other patients request healing, further permission of the ward manager should be obtained.

(e) It is important that healers support and encourage the patient’s faith in hospital treatment and the care regime.

(f) Healers should endeavour to be friendly and courteous to staff, remembering that the hospital or hospice is responsible for the patients.

(g) Patients in hospital or hospices are very vulnerable to infection and healers should not attend if suffering from any kind of cold, cough or stomach upset. It is advisable to have a bath or shower before visiting a patient. Hands should be washed thoroughly before going onto a hospital ward and after touching anyone or anything. Items should never be passed from one patient to another. It is important for all visitors to use the alcohol gel provided by hospitals before and after seeing a patient.

(h) Thought should also be given to infection control procedures when offering healing to anyone in a health or social care setting e.g. residential, care or nursing home. Patients living in their own homes who have been infected with MRSA or other resistant infections may still be vulnerable to transmission.

(i) Infections can be carried on clothes, therefore a healer should never sit on a patient’s bed. If you become ill after visiting a patient in hospital, then common sense dictates you contact your GP.

4.10 (a) In October 2008 the Midwifery Association of the UK changed its ruling on the subject of healers attending a woman during pregnancy. Mothers currently have the right to choose where and how they will have their babies, and who will be present. They have the right to request healers to attend them at any time, including the time of the birth.

(b) Legal advice offered to the Charity suggests that a midwife can still legally sue a healer. We therefore advise that if Contact Healing is to be undertaken at all during pregnancy, that the healer concerned has written permission from the midwife in question, which covers healing during the pregnancy and a period of 10 days after the delivery, as well as from the consultant in charge, in the case of a hospital birth.

(c) For organisational reasons there may be uncertainty concerning the specific medical personnel who may be in attendance at the time of delivery. For this reason it may be difficult to obtain the required written permission. In such cases Distant Healing is recommended at the time of delivery and for 10 days afterwards.

Healing and other therapies

4.11 It is permissible for Healer Members to offer other therapies or treatments for which they are qualified and insured, but the Charity’s insurance does not cover members for the practice of other therapies. The specific consent of the patient must first be obtained and the patient should be made aware of the commencement and conclusion of the spiritual healing before another modality is undertaken.

4.12 Healers may only prescribe or sell remedies, herbs, supplements, oils, etc, if they have a separate training and/or qualification that legally permit them to do so.

Treatment of Animals

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 prohibits anyone who is not a registered veterinary surgeon from practising veterinary surgery. ‘Veterinary Surgery’ is defined as the diagnosis of the injuries and ailments of animals, tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes, advice based upon that diagnosis, or medical/surgical treatment.

4.13 (a) The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) recognises as acceptable the complementary treatment of animals by contact healing (i.e. the laying-on of hands), distant healing or prayer in strict accordance with the provisions and spirit of this Code of Conduct.

(b) The RCVS accepts Spiritual Healing and no longer insists that an animal is seen by a vet before healing is given.

(c) If the healer is aware that any animal visited is in particular distress, the healer is obliged to advise the owner to arrange for the animal to be seen by a veterinary surgeon.

(d) The healer should make a note of this instruction on their record card in such a way that it is clear that no diagnosis has been made.

4.14 Where an animal has already been seen by a vet, the veterinary surgeon remains in charge of the case and the healer shall not countermand any instructions or medicines given by the vet.

4.15 The healer shall neither suggest a medical diagnosis nor advise any course of veterinary treatment.

4.16 The administration of first aid in an emergency for the purpose of saving life or relieving pain is permissible.

Note: Healers wishing to work mainly with animals should consider undertaking specialist training. Contact Central Office for details of courses available.


Working with Children

5.1 (a) A child is defined in law as someone who is under 18 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and who is under 16 in Scotland.

(b) A married person aged between 16 and 18 is considered an adult. If seeking healing, the individual concerned would need to provide evidence of marital status in the form of a marriage certificate.

5.2 Parental responsibility is a legal concept that lasts until a child reaches the age of 18 (see 5.1 for exceptions). Those who can have parental responsibility are as follows:

• The mother of a child always has parental responsibility.
• The biological father of a child automatically has parental responsibility if he is married to the child’s mother.
• If the father is not married to the mother, he can acquire parental responsibility by agreement with the mother or by court order.
• Others can, by court order, acquire parental responsibility such as guardianship or a residence order.
• Local authorities can also acquire parental responsibility when a child is placed under a care order by the court.
• Parental responsibility can be shared.
5.3 Care must be exercised if the parent is under 18 years. If in doubt, do not give healing.

5.4 It is considered best practice to gain permission for healing from those with parental responsibility for that child, as well as the consent of the child.

5.5 It is advisable to have a third person, either a parent, carer or another healer present, when giving healing to a child under 16.

5.6 (a) Those with parental responsibility for a child should always be asked whether the child is being treated by a doctor for the presenting condition. If it transpires that s/he is not, healers must advise that, in Law, the child should be seen by a doctor, and secure the signature of the parent or guardian on the following statement:
“I have been advised by (name of healer) that according to Law I must consult a doctor concerning the health of my child (name of child).
Signed (Parent or Guardian) .................................................. Date .............................
Signature of Witness ............................................................ Date ...........................”
This statement should be kept with the healing records.

(b) A healer who treats a sick child under 16 with the knowledge that no doctor has been consulted, may run the risk of being accused of complicity in a criminal offence, as well as possible liability in civil law, if a serious illness is undiagnosed and the child suffers harm as a result.

(c) It should be noted however that many children who are brought for healing by their parents are already receiving medical treatment e.g. for cancer. Cases requiring careful consideration would include, for example, a request from a parent who might not approve of medical intervention for reasons of culture or personal belief. In such cases, the healer is strongly advised to suggest distant healing rather than contact healing.

(d) If a healer suspects that a child brought for treatment is suffering harm, or is at risk of harm, the healer should report their concern to the child’s doctor, or to the duty officer of the Social Services department serving the area in which the child lives. The term ‘harm’ includes ill treatment or impairment of their health or their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, behavioural or sexual development.

Working with Vulnerable Adults

5.7 (a) A third person should always be in attendance when a healer is working with a patient who is perceived to be vulnerable in any way.

(b) Healers should be mindful of their own personal safety at all times. Discretion should always be used for the protection of both the healer and the patient when carrying out spiritual healing with those who are known to have mental health problems, be addicted to drugs or alcohol, severely depressed, or hallucinating. The healer should be accompanied by another healer or a specialist in this area.

(c) In some instances distant healing may be more appropriate e.g. for those living with schizophrenia and psychotic conditions.

(d) In the event that the healer is informed by an individual that they intend to self-harm, the healer may have a moral duty of care. This can be discharged by encouraging and supporting the individual to seek help from their GP, or key worker if they are already known to mental health services.

(e) Before giving healing to anyone who may possibly be liable to self-harm, healers are strongly advised to get their confirmation in writing that they have been advised to seek help. Distant Healing is likely to be more helpful.

Consent for Medical Treatment

5.8 (a) Any person over the age of 18 in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, anyone over 16 in Scotland, or a married person over 16, is considered in law to be an adult, and can consent to medical treatment, unless there is evidence to prove that they have a mental incapacity.

(b) Clinicians and healers alike have a legal responsibility in determining whether a patient has the capacity to consent or not. Although a healer is not clinically trained, s/he would be expected to show common sense in this regard.

(c) Healers may not enter a hospital or care home to give healing to residents/patients who lack capacity, without first obtaining consent from the person responsible for their welfare. Particular care should be taken if lasting Power of Attorney has been granted.

(d) Individuals may lose capacity permanently because of a degenerative illness, or brain injury, or may have suffered brain damage at birth. Some people who suffer from some forms of mental illness may be deemed to lose capacity during acute episodes of illness, but capacity will be regained during periods of health.

(e) If it becomes evident that a patient may suddenly need urgent medical or psychiatric help, the healer may have to obtain the patient’s consent to refer them to a GP or other agency, unless in the case of emergency or collapse. This is especially the case if the healer is concerned about a risk of harm to the patient or others. The healer should bear in mind their duty to always act in a person’s best interests.


5.9 (a) If a healer is concerned about any aspect of the welfare of a vulnerable person of any age, they should contact the local authority duty Social Work Team, which has a legal duty to investigate any concern.

(b) Many local authorities and voluntary organisations have a policy on the protection of vulnerable adults or children in their care, which will be relevant for example when visiting children and some adults in hospital or care/residential homes.

(c) Protection policies will restrict one-to-one contact unless a suitable check has been obtained (previously known as a CRB check). Anyone working with either children or vulnerable adults is required to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority. []


Note: The information recorded here is for reference only and will not be examined as part of the Healer Assessment Panel.

This information is applicable to English Law.


The main areas of legislation are:

Access to Medical Reports Act 1988
Access to Health Records Act 1990 (covers records of deceased persons)
Children Act 1989
Data Protection Act 1998
National Health Service (Venereal Diseases) Regulations 1974 (SI 1974 No.29)
Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and accompanying Codes of Practice
Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001
Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984
Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988:
Mental Capacity Act 2005 / Code of Practice (see also the BACP Code of Ethics)
Mental Health Act 1987

A healer required to attend Court may find it helpful to read Therapists in Court: Providing Evidence and Supporting Witnesses by Tim Bond and Amanpreet Sandhu published by Sage 2005 ISBN 1-4129-1268-7.

Working with Vulnerable People

Anyone who has been barred from registration with the ISA and continues to work in any capacity with vulnerable adults or children will be committing an offence.

Healers seeking further information about their local child protection scheme may contact their Local Safeguarding Children Board (the address will be available from the local authority) for details of local policies and child protection procedures. []

The law relating to consent and those under 16, includes the Gillick competent: this became part of legal statute when Victoria Gillick, a parent of young teenage children, challenged the right of a person under 16 to ask for confidentiality in relation to contraceptive advice; this challenge was not successful.

The Healing of Animals

Healers must not breach the terms of the following:

Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986

Protection of Animals Act 1911