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Significant issues and developments related to chiropractic.
“Health Minister Don McMorris said discontinuing the subsidy was a tough decision. [The government covered $12.25 per chiropractic visit and the patient $17] "The question is, 'Is it a service that the taxpayers of Saskatchewan should subsidize?' "We looked at the service and we looked at what other provinces do and we also realized that it's a very tight budget and we have to put things in that context and we moved on it," McMorris said. "There are nine provinces and territories that don't cover it at all."” Leader-Post (25th March 2010)
“California physicians have raised concerns about new regulations affirming chiropractors' ability to perform manipulation under anesthesia [MUA]…state medical board officials and physician organizations, including the California Medical Assn. and the California Society of Anesthesiologists, testified at public hearings that MUA falls outside chiropractors' scope of practice and puts patients at risk. Physicians said the procedure is akin to surgery and involves the use of drugs -- which pose dangers that only physicians are qualified to treat and are prohibited in chiropractic practice. The regulations are set to take effect April 16.” American Medical News (22nd March 2010)
“HARTFORD — Advocates have failed to convince a licensing board to order chiropractors to warn patients about the possible risk of stroke from neck manipulation, but they are not giving up. The Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Examiners voted 4-1 this week against issuing the declaratory ruling. The board heard four days of testimony last year from patients who said they were harmed by neck manipulation, while chiropractors said the risk was low and their profession was being singled out. Janet Levy, president of Victims of Chiropractic Abuse, said she was disappointed, but not surprised. “From the start of this declaratory ruling process, it was evident that the chiropractors on the board had no intention of protecting patients’ rights,” Levy alleged. Norm Pattis, attorney for the Chiropratic Stroke Awareness Group, said he has been led to believe the legislature will mandate patients be warned. If that is not the case, he plans to appeal the issue to Superior Court once a final written ruling is issued within three months. The four members who voted against the ruling are chiropractors. The dissenting vote was from Jean Rexford, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety. Levy said the board is missing two of the three public members required by law.” Newhaven Register, Connecticut (19th March 2010)
“With very limited ability to move or speak, Scott Tatro has published a book called, "Locked In: Chiropractic Adjustment Gone Wrong." Ten years ago, Scott Tatro was the proud owner of an excavating business. Today, he can hardly talk, and can only move his hand, neck, and face. A trip to the chiropractor in 2000 changed his life as he knew it. "He had gone to the chiropractor and he had is neck adjusted on Thursday and he came home and said it hurt so bad he had to quit," says Ann Tatro, Scott's wife. His wife Ann, recalls her husband having headaches and feeling dizzy. She says, "The next Sunday he went back for another adjustment and they called and said he had some kind of seizure." Scott had had a brain stem stroke, resulting in Locked In Syndrome. Ann says, "It was happening right when your neck was twisted the second time."” Wisconsin news report (24th February 2010)
“A new court ruling has again called into question a widely used but controversial chiropractic treatment, concluding that a Newfoundland practitioner made a patient deaf in one ear and caused other debilitating injuries by performing a neck manipulation on him. The judge in the civil suit found the chiropractor negligent and will decide later what compensation to award Abe Gallant, who says he had to leave his $80,000-a-year job because of the damage. The decision follows a series of public inquiries and inquests that have blamed cervical manipulation for strokes, some of them fatal, and the filing of a $500-million class action suit in Alberta that targeted the allegedly dangerous chiropractic therapy. "This is not something new ... they've been maiming people all over the country," Mr. Gallant said in an interview yesterday, suggesting the procedure be banned. "I'm lucky that I can talk about what happened. Most of them are dead or on respirators."” National Post (21st January 2010)
“A Winnipeg woman is suing her chiropractor, whose treatment she claims caused her to have a stroke only hours after visiting his office. Debbie Henderson, 43, filed a lawsuit Dec. 23 claiming unspecified damages and medical costs in relation to a stroke she suffered last May, which caused her to be hospitalized for 17 days and has left her with lingering disabilities.” The Winnipeg Sun (1st January 2010)
Latest news. Includes correspondence with the UK General Chiropractic Council (GCC) regarding the risks of chiropractic and the validity of a number of chiropractic practices. The GCC appears to avoid directly answering many of the questions put to it, most notably on the issue of the safety of neck manipulation where the risk/benefit ratio for the procedure is in question due to the availability of safer options. [NOTE: In its August 2005 reply, the GCC stated that it understood that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) was in the process of establishing a national database to which UK chiropractic patients could report complications following their treatment. However, in a letter to Nature on 22nd September 2005 (in response to an article which questioned what complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] organisations were doing to monitor adverse reactions) Barry Lewis of the BCA stated that the association had, in conjunction with the Anglo-European Chiropractic College, "set up a chiropractic reporting and learning system; more than 1,200 practitioners who are members of the BCA have recently received an information pack to enable them to participate in the scheme. Resulting data will be analysed at the Anglo-European Chiropractic College and outcomes will be relayed to the profession, through our newsletter, journal and website, so practitioners may learn from the experience of others. The intention is that the scheme will, if successful, be offered to other chiropractic associations within Europe in 2006". No mention was made of a database to which the patients of all (approx 2,300) UK chiropractors could report complications following their treatment.]
American Speciality Health, Inc. (ASH) has issued clinical practice guidelines for 81 "complementary" techniques and procedures, most of which are used mainly by chiropractors. The documents (all of which are contained in this link) indicate that 68 of the methods would not be covered under the plan because they are considered unsubstantiated, unsafe, or both; 67 of the methods are classified as experimental or investigational because credible scientific evidence is inadequate to support their claimed applications; 48 of the methods are scientifically implausible because they require the existence of forces, mechanisms, or biological processes that are not known to exist with the existing framework of scientific knowledge; 11 of the methods are considered unsafe, either directly or indirectly; and 53 of the methods would render the practitioner ineligible to participate in the network. The methods include: Acutonics/Sonotonics, Addictionology, Advanced Biostructural Correction (ABC), Applied Kinesiology, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, Axial Decompression Therapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST), Bio-Cranial Therapy, Bioenergetic Sensitivity and Enzyme Therapy (BioSet), Bio-Geometric Integration (BGI), Biological Terrain Assessment (BTA), BioMeridian (MSA Machine), Clinical Kinesiology (CK), Cold Laser-Low Laser Light Therapy (LLLT), Colonic Irrigation, Colorpuncture, Concept Therapy, Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA), Craniosacral Therapy (CST), Current Perception Threshold (CPT) — Sensory Nerve Conduction Threshold (sNCT), Diagnostic Ultrasound — Spinal/Paraspinal, Directional Non-Force Technique (DNFT), ElectroAcupuncture by Voll (EAV), Electrodermal Screening Test (EDST), Force/Functional Recording and Analysis System (FRAS), Functional Leg Length Inequality, Gemstone and Crystal Therapy, Holistic Kinesiology, Homeopathy, Infratonic/Infrasonic or Qui Gong Machine (QGM), Intradermal Needles (Needle Implants/Ear Tacks), Iridology, Jaffe-Mellor Technique, Live Blood Cell Analysis, Logan Basic Technique, Magnets — Static, Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) — Spinal, Manual Muscle Testing — Psychological Disorders, Moxibustion — Direct, Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination technique (NAET), Nasium Vertex X-Ray Views, Network Spinal Analysis, Neuro Emotional Technique (NOT), Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Neurolink, Neurovascular Dynamics (NVD), New-Stim Bio-Kinetics, Organ/Visceral Manipulation, Ortho-Bionomy, Radionics, Reflexology — Diagnostic, Reiki, Rolfing, Ryodoraku and Electro Meridian Imaging (EMI), Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT) — Diagnostic, Surface Electromyography (SEMG), Surrogate Testing, Thermography, Toftness, Total Body Modification, Upper Cervical Adjusting Techniques, Vector Point Cranial Therapy, Vegatesting, Videonystagmography (VNG) and the Webster Technique. [Most of the guidelines were implemented during February 2006] Information source: Chirobase
Complete Statement of Claim for the above class action suit. [81 pages — pdf]
Wethersfield, CT, USA, Nov 18, 2008) -- The Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group (CSAG) is dramatically expanding its nationwide advertising campaign with the placement of billboards in some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country….."The American public needs to know that chiropractic adjustments can cause severe injuries, permanent disabilities and even death," said Britt Harwe, Founder of CSAG. "Our promise to CSAG members is that the awareness campaign will continue to grow in intensity until the chiropractic industry begins the process of meaningful reform."
Wethersfield, CT, USA (PRWEB) February 18, 2009 -- The Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group (CSAG) is flooding the State of Connecticut [USA] with outdoor advertisements. The goal is to ensure that survivors of chiropractic stroke know there is a place to turn for support, as well as to alert the general public to the potentially life altering risks of chiropractic treatment. "Otherwise healthy people are having strokes just because no one told them of the risks so that they could make informed health care choices," said Britt Harwe the Founder of CSAG. "Chiropractors need to step up, be responsible and just say to their patients, 'we know that that there is a possibility a spinal adjustment can cause a stroke, but now you should know it too'". It is the objective of CSAG supporters, who have committed resources for advertisements for at least the next four years, to ensure that by the time they are through every citizen in Connecticut will be aware of the risks of chiropractic adjustment.
Comprehensive inventory of blog and media articles covering the case. (Compiled by Chris Kavanagh)
Paul Lee's extensive range of chiropractic articles at quackfiles.blogspot.com
A radical attempt by chiropractors to treat patients in hospital emergency departments in Australia faces fierce opposition from doctors. Australian Medical Association president, Andrew Pesce, said: ''There is still very little evidence on which to make any claims about chiropractic treatment.Chiropractors do seem to help some people with back pain, but a lot of it is probably just helping the patient feel better while their back gets better anyway…There is no evidence [that chiropractors can help treat medical conditions] … and that's not turf protection, that's common sense and patient safety". The (Australian) Sun Herald (8th November 2009)
"If Ierano or other chiropractors want to provide good quality evidence for chiropractic that has not already been dealt with and thoroughly debunked by the likes of Professor Edzard Ernst, we are confident the scientific world would be interested. Until they do, they should refrain from making claims unsupported by evidence or complaining when the risks and lack of evidence for efficacy are highlighted." Australian Skeptics (25th October 2009)