Each month, the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) “Health Watch” electronic newsletter provides information on research studies that reveal the dangers of many common drugs and medical procedures. Although the reports are published in reputable journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, British Medical Journal and The New England Journal of Medicine, most of them are never mentioned in the mainstream press.
Yet, when a Canadian medical group claimed it found a link between chiropractic and stroke, the news made headlines across the world, despite the fact that the study involved just 156 people and was conducted by a group with self-proclaimed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
In recent months, Canadian medical organizations have tried to focus attention on the highly publicized case of Laurie Jean Mathiason, whose death has been blamed on a chiropractic-induced stroke. The WCA immediately worked to counter the new reports, as it has repeatedly in the past.
In a letter sent to several print and web-based publications that carried the stroke report, WCA President Terry A. Rondberg strongly disputed the supposed link.
“The fact is, the medical community is merely exploiting the tragedy of to mislead the public into thinking that our profession was responsible for her death or that patients are at risk by going to chiropractors,” Dr. Rondberg stated. “Such unethical scare tactics are becoming more and more blatant as chiropractic continues to make inroads into the health care field.”
In addition to supplying documented evidence showing that chiropractic is extremely safe, and that there is no evidence of a link between adjustments and stroke, the WCA letter explained to editors that “… in 1990, the AMA was found guilty of conspiring with other medical organizations in a ‘lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott’ of the chiropractic profession. It deliberately disseminated false and libelous information and forbid its members to refer patients to doctors of chiropractic. The court prohibited them from disseminating any more lies about chiropractic but the court could not stop the medical and pharmaceutical industries from using their influence to get newspapers, magazines and television news shows to do that job for them.”
Among the material provided to the media was a statement by Philip Lee, M.D., a co-investigator of a research survey presented at the American Heart Association’s 19th International Joint Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation which noted, “Indeed, most interventions by allopathic physicians have a higher complication rate than chiropractic interventions.”
Rondberg stated, “The deliberately false impression put forward by the medical industry concerning stroke and chiropractic is part of its ongoing attempt to eliminate chiropractic as a competitor. The World Chiropractic Alliance will continue to refute these reports in the strongest terms possible. We also offer our assistance to any chiropractic group in the U.S., Canada or around the world wishing to combat this campaign of misinformation.”
The WCA position paper on chiropractic and stroke, as well as a comprehensive review of scientific and medical studies on the topic, are available on the WCA website.
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