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Articles for Chiropractors

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A DECISION FROM THE DARK SIDE 

In 1895 an adjustment of vertebrae restored hearing to a partially deaf man. That outcome gave rise to a hypothesis that specific spinal faults, called subluxations, cause symptoms and that correcting the cause of the symptom, the subluxation, the subluxation related symptoms will go.

 Over a century later, millions of patients have tested whether or not their symptoms were or were not subluxation related.  

A century of discerning consumer choice followed by many successful outcomes have validated that chiropractic hypothesis.  

Australia's 1977 Webb Report noted this sequence; “the majority of chiropractic patients have attended a medical practitioner for the same specific symptoms they presented to the chiropractor. …. The majority of patients in those studies had discarded conventional medical therapy because of failure to obtain relief --i 

The Webb Report also noted high levels of satisfaction among chiropractic patients and that patients would not hesitate to recommend ailing relatives and friends. Apparently, millions of patients have experienced ‘Webb’s sequence’

 According to “Prevalence and cost of alternative medicine in Australia”. The Lancet Vol 347 March 2 1996 pages 569 to 573, an estimated 15% of Australia’s population over the age of 15, attend chiropractors pa; at that time over 2,500,000 patients. A more recent study, commissioned by the publication, Australian Doctor and the drug company Pfizer Australia showed chiropractic was by far the most popular of what they termed alternative therapies surveyed. The study was a national survey of 1250 patients in Australia. The results showed that 34% of patients had visited a chiropractor.ii 

Webb’s sequence of medical failure followed by chiropractic success reflects the outcome of medically treating subluxation related symptoms while leaving the cause of the symptoms, the subluxations, to remain unrecognised, unannounced and unaddressed; which could be for decades. Later having a chiropractor locate and adjust the subluxations provided relief of the subluxation related symptoms. 

As long as the cause of their symptoms remained unrecognised, unannounced and unaddressed, the symptoms may require continuing medical treatment and medical income will be derived. Later when the cause of the symptom, their subluxations were corrected, the subluxation related symptoms diminished or went thus ending that continuity of that medical income. That happening seems to be all too common. 

Another gauge is the prevalence of spine related disorders in a GP’s practice. For example in Canada; Over 30 percent of all visits to general practitioners are for back and spine related problems.iii When patients go to chiropractors, they rarely ever return to MD for back or spinal related problems, thus threatening income from one third of all medical visits.iv 

Seen on a global stage and over decades many millions of chiropractic validations could collectively, translate into in a multi-billion loss of medical income. Trapped between an oath to place patient interest above the doctors' professional and financial well being or forfeiting a large part of “income from one third of all medical visits”, forced an extremely cynical decision by the dark side of Medicine. 

Deny the validity of the chiropractic hypothesis, ignore the subluxations, continue medical treatment for the symptoms, retain that income. Patients who experienced having their subluxations ignored and continuing medical treatment for the symptoms and then found relief through chiropractic see the decision by the dark side of Medicine as a betrayal. 

During a chiropractor’s career thousands of such medical betrayals are evidenced. These patients understand that with regard to subluxation related disorders that GP may be untrustworthy and so they ‘rarely ever return to MD for back or spinal related problems’. 

As patients come to know about the medical profession’s support of trading arrangements that stem patient flow to chiropractors, they realise that in matters chiropractic, there is an untrustworthy dark side to Medicine. 

i Report of the committee of enquiry into chiropractic, etc. April 1977. Aust. Govt Publishing Services Canberra 1977 P49

ii http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/de/0c0322de.asp

iii Squandering Billions; health care in Canada. Bannerman, Gary et al . Publisher Hancock House page 213

iv Ibid page 235 

Containing Competitors

The trade of Medicine’s potential competitors is contained within the private health marketplace. 

Seen from the perspective of a scheme to ensure the continuity of medical treatment of subluxation related symptoms while at the same time denying public patients of their access to the resolution of those symptoms via chiropractic care, containment is an outstanding success. 

Within the public health marketplace Medicine’s tax payer funded hence recession proof, virtual medical monopoly protects Medicine’s vested interests at the price of betraying the health interests of a large number of public patient who have subluxation related disorders. 

Public health‘s unique structure and function involves a trading partnership in which government sponsors and regulates the market, dealing exclusively with Medicine in the provision of goods and services to some eleven million public patients. 

Exclusive dealing denies most public patients of their liberty to if they should want to do so, to choose to have chiropractors locate and correct their subluxations. Exclusive dealing substantially lessen competition.  

The government has left much of public health beyond the regulatory reach of the Trade Practices Act and hence beyond the reach of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

 Anticompetitive Trade Barriers

 A set of long standing anticompetitive trade barriers deny chiropractors market entry to the public health marketplace restricting their trade to the smaller private health marketplace. 

Explaining this set of trade restraints ends many illusions:

1. The information restraint. Even among the most trusted profession a first victim of war is truth. It serves Medicine’s vested interests to absolutely deny the validity of and the very existence of, subluxation-related disorders. Chiropractic patients tell of medical practitioners echoing an array of anti-chiropractic misinformation.

2. The "ethic" restraint, obstruct professional association between chiropractors and medical practitioners. The Fourth General Assembly of the AMA resolved, "The AMA is of the opinion that medical practitioners may not act in consultation with, associate professionally with, conduct investigations for, nor refer patients to chiropractors or osteopaths." (Medical Journal of Australia supplement 1965 page 126) Though no longer obligatory to AMA members, its strong influence lingers.

3. The gatekeeper restraint dovetailed with the "ethic" restraint to complete an effective lockout. Obligatory medical referrals or permission lessen the likelihood of access to chiropractic care by veterans and civilian prisoners.

4. The access restraint denies those public patients who have subluxation related disorders appropriate direct access to chiropractic care within taxpayer-funded health care facilities and programs.

5. The legislative restraint negatively influences a great deal of legislation, directly or indirectly relevant to chiropractic, so as to deny fair and just treatment under the law.

6. The economic restraint is reflected in the bias within Medicare, which effectively economically denies Medicare dependent patients Medicare funded direct access to chiropractic care. 

A Summary of Professional Trade Barriers

Thus, professional trade barriers:

• Contribute toward many patients having inappropriate tests, incorrect diagnoses and incorrect medical treatment of subluxation related symptoms while the cause of the symptoms, the subluxations is not addressed.

• Restrain public patient access to the correct management of subluxation related disorders.

• Financially lock Medicare-dependent patients into drug and surgery-oriented treatment.

• Have the outcome of widespread unnecessary prolonged suffering and expense.

• Give Medicine a multi-million dollar trading advantage. 

Fundamentally, containing chiropractic permits ongoing medical treatment for many subluxation related symptoms while the subluxations remain unrecognised, unannounced and unaddressed.

 I welcome constructive critiques from chiropractors.  

 

Email to: michael.mckibbin@attadalechiropractic.com

 

 

Your Chiropractor

Michael McKibbin passed his Iowa Basic Science and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa.

Since then both wonderful staff and patients have contributed toward decades of valued experience in his family practice.

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October 2010
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