Florida Officials Reject Proposal To Add “Injectables” To Chiropractic Scope

Forwarded by ICA Chiropractic News Service

A proposal to add the prescription and administration of injectable nutrients and supplements to the scope of chiropractic practice in the state of Florida was firmly rejected at a hearing in Orlando on Friday, December 7, 2001 when state officials informed the Florida Chiropractic Board that such a proposal was clearly outside the authority of the Board to approve. After hearing arguments from proponents of the addition of this allopathic medical procedure to the state’s chiropractic scope, discussion on the issue ended when the Board learned that only the Florida Legislature could mandate such a change. This blunt message was presented by a senior official from the Florida Board of Pharmacology, based on the reading of the law by the Office of the Florida Attorney General.

The International Chiropractors Association, in close cooperation with the Florida Chiropractic Society and allied educational institutions including Life University, Life Chiropractic College-West and Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, were strongly opposed to the proposed amendment to the chiropractic scope because of the issues of public safety and chiropractic’s historic drugless, non-allopathic status as a true alternative to invasive, drug-based medical care. ICA was represented at the hearing by the Association’s newly elected Assembly Representatives for Florida, Armand M. Rossi, DC and Joseph W. Accurso, DC, who presented ICA’s position in a letter from ICA President, Dr. D.D. Humber, to the Chairman of the Florida Chiropractic Board, Dr. Gene E. Jenkins, Jr.

Dr. Humber outlined ICA’s position against the proposed scope expansion, telling the Florida Board:

ICA’s opposition to the injectables proposal is based on the clear understanding that the prescription and application of such substances constitutes the practice of allopathic medicine under Florida law.

This Association is extremely conscious of the need to maintain clear boundaries between the health professions for the protection of the public. The proposal to authorize doctors of chiropractic to prescribe and administer injectable substances raises such boundary issues on many levels. First among ICA’s concerns is the issue of safety and patient welfare. Doctors of chiropractic do not have such training as a part of their professional instruction and qualification processes. The injections process is one that requires extensive training not only on the safe administration of the procedure, but also on the proper maintenance, security and accountability for the materials and paraphernalia used in the process. No one should minimize the potential for injury, secondary infection and related complications that attend the administration of the injections process. Those risks are obviously proportional, according to the skills and experience of those administering the procedure. Doctors of chiropractic have none of the requisite skills as a matter of national definitions and educational processes.

Considering the risks in the direct injection of any substance, responsible people must ask whether any major health care gap is being filled by the addition of this authority. The ICA firmly believes that the range of oral, ingestible nutritional supports and supplements is so extensive and diverse that any general nutritional support is available via this medium… If the doctor of chiropractic is seeking to treat a specific disease through such procedures, the line between professions and professional competence has been clearly crossed, and such persons are illegally attempting to practice allopathic medicine.

The public is entitled to clear definitions between health professions and to the full protection of the regulatory process to assure that any health professional holding themselves out as qualified to perform any service, is licensed and qualified at the highest standard…The International Chiropractors Association promotes and supports a drugless chiropractic profession, separate and distinct from the practice of medicine. The injectable proposals before the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine blur the distinctions between professions to the detriment of public health and safety and should be rejected.

The proposal to expand chiropractic scope to include injectables was put forward by a group calling itself the Florida Chiropractic Physicians Association, and supported by a few fringe individuals, including individuals who were in the seminar business, teaching injection procedures. “I am very pleased to see that the law was enforced in Florida and that this initiative received the reception that it did,” said Dr. Humber. “ICA will be standing by to cooperate with the Florida Chiropractic Society and other groups, educational institutions and dedicated doctors of chiropractic to lobby against any legislative change that those behind this medical move will likely propose, now that the administrative route has been closed.”

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Editors Note: Many principled DCs worked long and hard (and at great personal expense) to see this proposed addition to the scope of practice in Florida defeated. As I have said before, events that occur in states like Florida, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York shape the profession for the future. This is not just a Florida issue… it is a principled chiropractic issue. It’s never just a Canada issue or a California issue, it’s a chiropractic issue. Get off your ass and get involved.

planetc1.com-news @ 7:29 pm | Article ID: 1008127786