MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Chiropractors across the world tend to make false claims. This has been shown with such embarrassing regularity that there is no longer any question about it. Should someone have the courage to disclose and criticises this habit, chiropractors tend to attack their critic, rather than putting their house in order. One of their more devious strategies, in my view, is their insistence on claiming to effectively treat all sorts of childhood conditions.

What could be more evil than treating sick children with ineffective and harmful spinal manipulations? The answer is surprisingly simple: PREVENTING CHILDREN FROM PROFITTING FROM ONE OF THE MOST BENEFICIAL INTERVENTIONS EVER DISCOVERED!

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is an organisation which seems to support anti-vaxers of various kinds. Officially they try hard to give the image of being neutral about vaccinations and state that they are dedicated to the prevention of vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to defending the informed consent ethic in medicine. As an independent clearinghouse for information on diseases and vaccines, NVIC does not advocate for or against the use of vaccines. We support the availability of all preventive health care options, including vaccines, and the right of consumers to make educated, voluntary health care choices.

In my view, this is thinly disguised promotion of an anti-vaccination stance. The NVIC recently made the following announcement:

The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), which was founded by Dr. Larry Webster and represents doctors of chiropractic caring for children, has supported NVIC’s mission to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to protect informed consent rights for more than two decades. ICPA’s 2013 issue of Pathways to Family Wellness magazine features an article written by Barbara Loe Fisher on “The Moral Right to Religious and Conscientious Belief Exemptions to Vaccination.”

Pathways to Family Wellness is a full-color, quarterly publication that offers parents timely, relevant information about health and wellness options that will help them make conscious health choices for their families. ICPA offers NVIC donor supporters and NVIC Newsletter subscribers a complimentary digital version or print version of Pathways to Family Wellness magazine at a significant discount. Visit the Pathways subscription page and, when checking out in the shopping cart, add the exclusive code: NVIC. 

ICPA also has initiated parenting support groups that meet monthly to discuss health and parenting topics. Meetings are hosted by local doctors of chiropractic and the Pathways website features a directory of local groups. ICPA Executive Director Dr. Jeanne Ohm said “We look forward to many more years of collaborating with NVIC to forward our shared goal of enhancing and protecting the ability of parents to make fully informed health and wellness choices for their children.”

Why, we may well ask, are so many chiropractors against immunisations? The answer might be found in the history of chiropractic. Their founding fathers believed and taught that “subluxations” are the cause of all human diseases. To uphold this ridiculous creed, it was necessary to deny that infections play an important role in many illnesses. In other words, early chiropractors negated the germ theory of disease. Today, of course, they claim that all of this is ancient history – but the stance of many chiropractors against immunisations discloses fairly clearly, I think, that this is not true. Many chiropractic institutions still teach obsolete pseudo-knowledge and many chiropractors seem unable to totally free themselves from such obvious nonsense.

But back to the ICPA: they profess to be a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and serve family chiropractors worldwide through education, training, and research, establishing evidenced informed practice, excellence in professional skills and unity in a global community which cooperatively and enthusiastically participates in advancing chiropractic for both the profession and the public.

What does “evidence informed practice” mean? This bizarre creation is alarmingly popular with quacks of all kinds and seems to aim at misleading the unsuspecting public. It clearly has little to do with EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE as globally adopted by responsible clinicians. If not, the ICPA would inform its members and the public at large that immunisations are amongst the most successful preventive measures in the history of medicine. It is hard to think of another medical intervention where the benefits so clearly and hugely outweigh the risks. Immunisations have saved more lives than most other medical treatments. To not make this crystal clear to concerned parents is, in my view, wholly irresponsible.

5 Responses to CHIROPRACTORS PREVENT CHILDREN PROFITTING FROM THE MOST BENEFICIAL INTERVENTIONS EVER

  • Maverick Chiropractor says:

    Edzard, evidence based chiropractic practitioners do completely distance themselves from the irresponsible and dangerous ‘antivaxer’ view of the zealots! of chiropractic dogma.

    I have no intention of attacking our critics, particularly when I agree with most of your concerns! However, for the profession to ‘get its house in order’, is a tough call. The drivers of resistance to change are lack of acceptance that our patient outcomes are heavily influenced by the placebo effect and favourable natural history; lack of chiropractic political will to re-define its identity for the 21st century; fear of loss of public confidence, professional status and income; unwillingness to embrace evidence based practice fully; etc, etc. I am sure you can add to the list!

    • Edzard says:

      thank you; I agree.
      but getting the house in order is not some frilly wish or exotic luxury; it is essential and mandatory for any health care profession.
      it may well be a tall order, but there is no way chiropractors can bypass it. the trouble is that I see so very little activity in that respect.

  • Maverick Chiropractor says:

    Once again I have to completely agree with you Edzard.

    The problem is that individually, chiropractors like myself are a rare breed and very isolated. To mobilise a sea change of both chiropractic professional and public opinion without collaboration with like minded professionals, journalists etc, is likely to fail. It would be good to hear from anyone genuinely interested in helping me to plant the seeds of change!

    • Edzard says:

      in the times of social media etc., it should be possible to mobilise like-minded chiros. if that fails, it would seem likely that the profession is unwilling. in turn, this would indicate to me that it has lost its right to be respected and to treat vulnerable patients.

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