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State v. Miller

Iowa Supreme Court
542 N.W.2d 241 (1995)


Facts

Although Albert Miller (defendant) was not licensed to practice medicine, he routinely treated people in his home for a variety of physical issues. Miller typically started by putting the person’s photograph or hair clipping into a machine and reading the results. Miller might then give the person mild electric shocks, a massage, or a type of magnet therapy. Miller also routinely suggested vitamins to help the person’s condition. Miller did not call himself a doctor, and he did not charge for his treatments. However, Miller did sometimes sell the vitamins, and he often accepted a donation of $10 per treatment. Miller was charged with practicing medicine without a license. At Miller’s trial, an expert testified that Miller’s treatments were mostly useless but did harm by causing the people who relied on them to delay seeking real medical treatment. A jury found Miller guilty of seven counts of practicing medicine without a license. Miller was sentenced to jail time, but the time was suspended while he served five years of probation. Miller appealed the verdict, and the case went before the Iowa Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Andreasen, J.)

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