The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) have just published new guidelines for chiropractors entitled ‘Guidelines for Disaster Service by Doctors of Chiropractic’. Let me show you a few short quotes from this remarkable document:
… Doctors of Chiropractic are uniquely qualified to serve in emergency situations in various capacities.
… their assessment and treatments can be performed in austere environments, on site or at staging areas providing rapid attention to the injury, accelerating healing and often decreasing or substituting the need for pharmaceutical intervention…
Through their education as primary care physicians, Doctors of Chiropractic have demonstrated competence in first aid and resuscitation skills and are able to assess, diagnose and triage so they may serve as first responders in the immediate care of victims at a disaster site…
During and after the disaster, the local Doctors of Chiropractic should interface with the state association and ACA to report on execution of action and outcome of the situation, make suggestions for response to future disasters and report any significant contacts made.
END OF QUOTES
Please allow me to make just 10 corrections and clarifications:
- Chiropractors are not medical doctors; to use the title in any medical context is misleading, to use it in the context of medical emergencies is quite simply reckless.
- Chiropractors are certainly not qualified to serve in emergency situations. This would require a totally different training, experience and set of skills.
- I am not aware of any good evidence that chiropractic can accelerate healing of any medical condition.
- I am also not aware that chiropractic might decrease or substitute the need for pharmaceutical interventions in emergency situations.
- Chiropractors are not primary care physicians.
- Chiropractors have not demonstrated competence in first aid and resuscitation skills.
- Chiropractors are not trained to diagnose the complex and often life-threatening conditions that occur in disaster situations.
- Chiropractors are not trained as first responders in disaster situations.
- Chiropractors are not qualified or trained to report on execution of action and outcome of disaster situation.
- Chiropractors are not qualified or trained to make suggestions for response to future disasters.
The new ACA guidelines are but a thinly disguised attempt to boost chiropractic. They have the potential to endanger lives. And they are an insult to those professionals who have trained hard to acquire the skills to respond to emergencies and disaster situations.
In other words, they are guidelines not for dealing with disasters, but for creating them.