New Coalition Organized to Defend Chiropractic Independence

Forwarded by FSCO Member Communications

According to a newly formed coalition, chiropractic is in danger of being taken over by a group of medically oriented chiropractors and organizations who are trying to change the very nature of the profession, and in the process minimizing the profession’s unique role in health care and possibly placing the public at risk.

Founded as a drug-free health care system more than a century ago, chiropractic focuses on the normalization of nerve function through correction of subluxations, or misalignments, in the spine. Doctors of chiropractic focus their attention on locating these subluxations and correcting them, not on treating medical conditions. This makes chiropractic a unique service that does not duplicate medical care or attempt to replace medical care.

The Chiropractic Coalition — founded in November 2002 by three major chiropractic organizations, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO) — cautions that several rogue groups are trying to position chiropractors as quasi-medical doctors, unnecessarily and irresponsibly blurring the boundary lines between the professions and confusing the public.

“There is a role for medicine and a role for chiropractic,” stated Dr. Gary Howrin, president of the FSCO. “Medical doctors cannot do what chiropractors do since they don’t have the appropriate education or training. The reverse is true as well.”

The Coalition specifically referred to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) as two of the groups, which were overstepping their authority in an attempt to control the direction of the profession.

“These groups, which are by no means representative of the tens of thousands of doctors of chiropractic active in the United States, are trying to change educational requirements and state licensing statutes to allow, and even require, chiropractors to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions, at the expense of the focus on chiropractic’s unique procedures,” noted ICA President Dr. D.D. Humber. “Public interest in and demand for subluxation care is growing, and their needs and concerns must be chiropractic’s first priority.”

The real danger, warns the Coalition, is that chiropractors will be forced to provide services that aren’t within the scope of chiropractic. Expecting chiropractors to act as medical doctors will not only destroy the unique character of chiropractic, but most importantly will put the public at risk, the Coalition says.

Although some chiropractors provide complementary health care services, the majority holds the primary purpose of chiropractic to be the detection and correction of vertebral subluxations. The Coalition reflects this mainstream chiropractic perspective, noting that “the chiropractic analysis which identifies the existence of a subluxation may be the basis for chiropractic care even in the absence of a subjective complaint simply because it is, in and of itself, a detriment to the fullest expression of life.”

By exploiting differences in opinion within the various chiropractic organizations, fringe elements have managed to create a power base that threatens the existence of scientific subluxation-based chiropractic.

Although the first item on the Coalition agenda will be to stop what it sees as an abuse of power by certain chiropractic regulatory agencies, the goals of the organization are far-reaching.

The group’s stated mission is “to protect and support the interests of chiropractic consumers and chiropractors through effective and aggressive unified legislative and regulatory efforts, legal action, and public education” and to “promote chiropractic worldwide as a clearly defined, separate, and distinct profession while protecting the chiropractic consumer’s right to have full and direct access to chiropractic care for the correction of vertebral subluxation.”

“Individually, our chiropractic groups have been effective in promoting and protecting the interests of both chiropractors and health consumers,” the Coalition’s board announced. “By working together, we will compound our strengths and aggressively pursue our goals, and give new voice to the values and vision of the overwhelming majority of doctors of chiropractic who practice subluxation based chiropractic care, and to provide the public with ongoing access to the unique services only the doctor of chiropractic can provide.”

Each of the three founding organizations have had considerable success in their legislative efforts, helping win the passage of several crucial bills that protect the public’s right to receive chiropractic care for subluxation correction. Most recently, a Veterans Affairs bill was modified to specifically refer to chiropractic’s role in the care of subluxation complex.

Looking forward to the new Congress that will convene in January, the Coalition adopted an extensive legislative agenda that includes:

  • Amending Title 38 of the Veterans statute to provide authority to hire doctors of chiropractic as career employees. The Coalition will seek to work with all chiropractic organizations, including the American Chiropractic Association to secure this important priority in order to assist the timely deployment of DCs in the Department of veterans Affairs.
  • Legislation to secure program-wide chiropractic coverage for all federal employees.
  • Legislation to expand the list of chiropractic services covered under Medicare to include examinations, x-rays and to provide for other administrative improvements in this vast and expanding federal program.
  • Efforts to secure research funding for subluxation research.
  • The Coalition will also explore means to secure the goal of military commissions for doctors of chiropractic, acting upon legislation passed in 1992 that provides the Secretary of Defense the authority to do so.
  • The Coalition’s primary concern is to ensure that consumers of all ages will continue to have access to subluxation care at the hands of the best trained and qualified professionals, doctors of chiropractic.
  • “For too long, mainstream chiropractic organizations have disagreed over minor points, allowing marginal groups to exert undue influence. With the creation of the Chiropractic Coalition, we are putting aside those minor differences and focusing on our shared vision of chiropractic,” explained Dr. Terry Rondberg, WCA president. “We are going to mobilize in defense of chiropractic’s unique and powerful principles and work to keep the profession on its rightful course as a non-medical health care system offering a unique and vital service – the correction of vertebral subluxation.” @ 7:30 pm | Article ID: 1040355038