ICA again says "no" to drugs in chiropractic practice

ICA again says "no" to drugs in chiropractic practice

The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) lobbed another volley a few days ago in the ongoing war between the straight and mixer factions of chiropractic. Actually, "straight" and "mixer" hardly begins to describe the full spectrum of practices available from one or another chiropractor, from those who stick to the "detection and correction" of the mythical subluxation all the way through to those who fancy themselves as primary care physicians lacking only access to an expansive pharmaceutical formulary via the largesse of state legislators. It is this latter group, which seems to have taken over the leadership of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), that most concerns the ICA. 

Only 3 months ago, in "Chiropractic drug wars heat up again," SFSBM chronicled the latest battle, brought on the pending establishment of a College of Chiropractic Pharmacology and Toxicology. (You will find links to a full history of this intrafraternal war in the post.) This is a key element in the ACA's newly announced plan to push for revision of the state chiropractic practice acts. (Part of the ACA's "Six Key Elements of A Modern Chiropractic Practice Act") These revisions would give the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), their educational accrediting agency, the full authority to decide the chiropractic scope of practice, a function normally reserved to the states. Of course, the ACA doesn't come out and say this point blank. What they do say is that the revised practice acts should include:

Scope of Practice Determined by Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Education, Training and Experience Obtained Through Appropriately Accredited Institutions.

In other words, if the CCE says you can do it, you can. So, if the CCE thinks a chiropractic college's pharmacology education is up to snuff, then presumably graduates of that program can prescribe and administer drugs.  Even worse, if one of the ACA's "specialty" programs, which consist of hotel conference room seminars, operates under the auspices of a chiropractice college, this "post-doctoral education" would permit an expanded scope of practice, even though the chiropractor may have seen only a handful (if that) of patients with the condition he is now supposedly "trained" to treat. 

We in the science-based community know that the subluxation is a prescientific construct dreamed up one day by a "magnetic healer," uneducated in the sciences, practicing in Davenport, Iowa.  And we also know that chiropractors have never demonstrated that it exists, that anyone can reliably find one, or that purportedly "correcting" it does anyone any good. However, we can mostly agree with the ICA in it's latest "Resolution on Chiropractic Medicine:"

  1. The term “medicine” cannot and should not be used in conjunction with or to describe in any way, the practice of chiropractic.
  2. Prescriptive rights for drugs and or injectables falls under the practice of medicine and have not and should not be included in the scope of chiropractic practice for the safeguarding of both the profession and of the practicing doctors, as well as for the safety of the public.
  3. The ICA should create a statement to promote a drugless profession and should aggressively oppose the utilization of the term “chiropractic medicine” and “injectable” language in any future legislative and or regulatory efforts on a jurisdiction level.

We are not concerned with safeguarding the profession but we are most certainly concerned with the safety of the public. Chiropractors have no business prescribing or administering drugs or practicing as primary care physicians. In fact, when given the opportunity, they have demonstrated that they will use their privileges irresponsibly and in full display of their underlying goal of increasing their income. 


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