by Herb Newborg
(NaturalNews) The medical profession has a long history of opposing alternative healing professions. While always claiming public safety as its reasons for the attacks, the true reasons involve protecting their monopoly of the health care market.
In the past, medicine has fought battles to limit the practices of such professionals as homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopaths, podiatrists, optometrists, dentists, psychologists and chiropractors. In the case of osteopathy and chiropractic, there are distinct differences in the approach to healing and health when compared to medicine. The last thing that organized medicine wants is for their doctrine of drugs and surgery to be challenged.
Osteopaths allowed themselves to be absorbed by medicine — today there is little difference between an M.D. and a D.O. Chiropractic, on the other hand, fought hard through the personalities of those like B.J. Palmer to remain a separate and distinct profession.
Medicine’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein as Secretary of the American Medical Association (AMA) from 1924 to 1949, lead a 25 year anti-chiropractic campaign in both professional publications and the public media. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute… but killers.” He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult, caring about noting but taking their patients’ money.
In 1949 the AMA removed Fishbein but continued its an anti-chiropractic campaign. In 1971, H. Doyle Taylor, the Director of the AMA Department of Investigation, and Secretary of its Committee on Quackery (COQ), submitted a memo to the AMA Board of Trustees stating:
Since the AMA Board of Trustees decision, at its meeting on November 2-3, 1963, to establish a Committee on Quackery, your Committee has considered its prime mission to be, first, the containment of chiropractic and, ultimately, the elimination of chiropractic.
The following is an excerpt from the COQ’s first annual report to the Board of the AMA:
…The Involvement (and indoctrination) of the State Medical Society leadership, in our opinion, is vital to the success of the chiropractic program… We hope and believe that, with continued aggressive AMA activity, chiropractic can and will be contained at the national level and that steps are being taken to stop or eliminate the licenser of chiropractic at the state level.
In 1967, the COQ released its anti-chiropractic campaign goals:
Basically, the Committee’s short-range objectives for containing the cult of chiropractic and any additional recognition it might achieve revolves around four points:
1. Doing everything within our power to see that chiropractic coverage under title 18 of the Medicare Law is not obtained.
2. Doing everything within our power to see that the recognition or listing by the U.S. Office of Education of a chiropractic accrediting agency is not achieved.
3. To encourage contained separation of the two national chiropractic associations.
4. To encourage state medical societies to take the initiative in their state legislatures in regard to legislation that might affect the practice of chiropractic.
The AMA through its Committee on Quackery continued its war against chiropractic through such acts as: distributing propaganda to the nation’s teachers and guidance councilors, eliminating the inclusion of chiropractic from the U.S Department of Labor’s Health Careers Guidebook, and establishing specific educational guidelines for medical schools regarding the “hazards to individuals from the unscientific cult of chiropractic.”
The AMA did not stop with these acts of propaganda against the chiropractic profession. They worked both publicly and politically to ensure that chiropractic failed as a profession. But, even with all of this negative publicity against the profession, chiropractic continued to gain acceptance with the general public, because chiropractic got results.
In 1975 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Goldfarb vs. The Virginia State Bar that learned professions are not exempt from antitrust suits. In 1982 the Court ruled that the FTC can enforce antitrust laws against medical societies. These two suits paved the way in 1976 for five chiropractors to file an anti-trust suit against the AMA and several other heath care agencies and societies in Federal District Court (known as the Wilkes Case).
Similar suits were filed in New York and Pennsylvania in 1979. The pressure of these law suits forced the AMA even before these suits went to court to propose a modification of their Medical Code of Ethics which prohibited M.D.s from associating with chiropractors. But, it was not until 1980 that the Ethics Code was changed to reflect that each individual doctor may decide for themselves whether to accept a patient from or refer a patient to a chiropractor or other limited practitioner.
The law suits caused so much fear in the medical profession that Mike Wallace (of 60 minutes) was unable to find an M.D. to take the anti-chiropractic side for a 1979 documentary piece on chiropractic.
In 1980 the Wilkes suit went to court, where the AMA and other defendants were found not guilty of all charges. That decision was overturned and a new trial was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 1983.
Judge Susan Getzendanner found the AMA and others guilty of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession in September of 1987, ordering a permanent injunction against the AMA and forcing them to print the courts findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Several of the other defendants settled out of court, helping to pay for the chiropractors’ legal expenses and donating to a chiropractic non-profit home for disabled children, Kentuckiana Children’s Center.
This decision was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1990 and again by the U.S. Supreme Court that same year.
To this day, most consumers are unaware that the “idea” that chiropractors are quacks was purposefully, illegally, underhandedly, and cleverly crafted and promoted by the AMA.
While unable to eliminate chiropractic, the combination of AMA tactics and lack of unity among chiropractors and chiropractic organizations has very effectively contained chiropractic. Chiropractors limited to treating back pain and documenting soft tissue injuries for managed care organizations and personal injury attorneys would probably be acceptable to the AMA. If those pesky chiropractors would just shut up about the body’s natural ability to heal itself, stop pointing out the nearly 1,000,000 Americans that will die this year as a result of medical errors and drug reactions, and quit caring for and loving their patients.
If they would just treat each patient like the randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled medical statistic they represent, medical doctors and chiropractors could all play nicely together and live happily ever after.
The truth is chiropractic has proven itself over the past 113 plus years to be a safe and effective means of restoring and maintaining health. It is based on the premise that the body’s ability to heal is far superior to anything created in a laboratory. That health is the result of a diet of nutrient rich whole foods, proper exercise, toxin avoidance (in foods, drugs and vaccines), restful sleep, emotional wellbeing and a fully and properly functioning nervous system.
The bones of the spine house and protect the spinal cord and nerve roots, which along with the brain comprise the central nervous system. The very thing designed to protect these vital organs can actually interfere with their proper function if the bones become racked from their normal position, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. Chiropractors restore the proper position of the spinal bones, eliminating any interference that impedes the proper, natural, normal function of the body.
In other words, the intelligence that created the body can heal the body of any disease known to man, as long as there is not physical, chemical or emotional stresses that overwhelm the body’s resistance. This is not the message the AMA and the pharmaceutical companies they represent want the public to hear. Despite the AMA corruption and deceit and together with the rest of the natural health community, chiropractors will continue to spread the truth about natural solutions to health challenges that do not involve drugs or surgery.
About the author
Herb Newborg is president at Chiropractic America. Chiropractic America and Ogilvy PR Worldwide firm, Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH), have developed www.YourSpine.com along with a national marketing communications program to educate patients about the importance of spinal health and better align the chiropractic profession with consumer healthcare and wellness issues. FKH is a nationally-recognized leader in healthcare communications and public relations. Chiropractic America leverages FKH’s extensive healthcare experience to elevate public awareness and perception of chiropractic and ultimately drive informed and motivated patients to chiropractors nationwide.
Through our search engine optimization campaign and aggressive internet marketing strategies, we ensure that www.YourSpine.com appears at the top of search engine results for hundreds of health related web queries bringing more patients into practices nationwide. Pew Internet and American Life Project estimates that 9-10 million Americans are searching online for health information each day. We now have the ability to reach those in need of care at the exact moment they are deciding what form that care will take.
Our mission is to educate consumers about the important role their spine plays in their overall health. We communicate the role chiropractors play in maintaining health by maintaining the integrity of the spine and nerve system. Well-educated, informed patients are equipped with the knowledge to take control of their health.