You would think healthcare would be a straightforward profession of people who just want to help other people get well. Unfortunately politics and rivalry gets involved with healthcare as well. Soon after the AMA was started, its attack on other professions was one of their main jobs. Most people think the AMA is a public service organization but they would be wrong because the AMA is a union for medical doctors. Like any other union their main job is to make the working environment for their members as profitable as possible. Part of that strategy included demonizing other professions that they saw as competitors. 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.
For dentists they had oral surgeons, for podiatrist and chiropractic physicians they had orthopedic surgeons. And for osteopaths they were the alternative. So if they could eliminate those other professions that would mean more money in the pockets of their members, they gave up the fight against dentistry years ago they saw that was a losing battle. Even though you might not hear a lot about propaganda against podiatry it’s still there to some degree. When it comes to surgery on the foot and leg podiatrist tend to have the more sophisticated and effective techniques yet you won’t hear that from the AMA. When I was in school the osteopathic profession set down with the medical profession and worked out a truce. Today you won’t hear much animosity between these two professions though when I’ve talked to osteopaths they still say they’re treated like second-class citizens from the medical profession. But it seems their fight against chiropractic has historically been their most vicious. I assume they saw the writing on the wall that the stronger chiropractic got the more they would lose a share of the patient population. Because studies show when patients have equal access they pick natural healthcare over drugs and surgery by a large numbers.
It was in 90s that the AMA commissioned a study on health practices and found more people were visiting doctors like chiropractic physicians then medical physicians. That was a shock to them and they immediately started to propagate changes in insurance coverage so more and more people would lose their access to chiropractic. Sometime back I believe in the 20’s they change the committee’s name that was fighting chiropractic to the “committee on quackery”. Very interesting use of language.
Medicine’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein as Secretary of the American Medical Association from 1924 to 1949, lead a 50 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 nothing but taking their patients money.
I guess since over 3000 people a week die from medical care they never heard the adage people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Any given year that you calculate death rates from the CDC website you will find that medicine is either the first or second leading cause of death. It takes a little work adding up all the different categories that they have listed under medical care but that’s been true for a long time. Chiropractic is not only the safest of the three largest healthcare professions in the US but we have the lowest malpractice rates. I guess that’s something Fishbein did not look into on his campaign against chiropractic.
In the October 1976, Chiropractic sued the AMA in federal court for discrimination and won the case. Wilk, et al vs. the AMA, et al It took several years because the AMA played every legal trick in the book but as soon as the case was brought many medical concerns quickly settled and stop their anti-chiropractic rhetoric. In 1987 , following 11 years of legal action, a federal appellate court judge ruled that the AMA had engaged in a “lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott” designed to restrict cooperation between MDs and chiropractors in order to eliminate the profession of chiropractic as a competitor in the United States health care system.
During the preceedings it was shown that the AMA attempted to:
Undermine Chiropractic schools
Undercut insurance programs for Chiropractic patients
Conceal evidence of the effectiveness of Chiropractic care
Subvert government inquires into the effectiveness of Chiropractic
Promote other activities that would control the monopoly that the AMA had on health care
(This was upheld by the 7th United States Circuit Court of Appeals.)
The AMA offered a patient care defense; however, data from Workmen’s Compensation Bureau studies served to validate chiropractic care. Specifically, studies comparing chiropractic care to care by a medical physician were presented which showed that chiropractors were “twice as effective as medical physicians, for comparable injuries, in returning injured workers to work at every level of injury severity.”
The settlement of the suit included an injunctive order in which the AMA was instructed to cease its efforts to restrict the professional association of chiropractors and AMA members. The AMA was also ordered to notify its 275,000 members of the court’s injunction. In addition, the American Hospital Association (AHA) sent out 440,000 separate notices to inform hospitals across the United States that the AHA has no objection to allowing chiropractic care in hospitals.
Since the court findings and conclusions were released, a growing number of medical doctors, hospitals, and health care organizations in the United States have begun including the services of chiropractors.
But for several years that term “quack” has been identified with natural healthcare practitioners particularly chiropractic which is the largest of natural healthcare practice in the world. What was both amusing and sad is during the deposition of the leader of that group it was shown how dishonest and despicable their activities were. One of the general claims against chiropractic is that chiropractic care caused multiple deaths. Not only was this claim unfounded, during the deposition he had to admit he had no proof of that claim but that was just his personal belief based on no objective findings. But no matter how immoral and how dishonest their activities were they did have an effect. There are people today who will not take a vitamin or go to a natural health care practitioner particularly a chiropractic physician because of the propaganda they heard years ago. But since they lost the court case they closed down the most egregious propaganda outlets. Now they still have friends in the private sector that will be glad to regurgitate their propaganda but they no longer can officially be involved with it. So they have been working underground more to reduce chiropractic coverage in insurance.
As mentioned earlier the court case showed that not only was chiropractic not effective, which they preached for years, but it was twice as effective as their approaches for the same condition. Ouch! The government did a study on low back pain which is the number one health condition in the United States and found the most effective treatment on the planet was spinal manipulation (adjustments).On December 8, 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It’s unfortunate that lies can hang around for period of time but that’s all they ever were, lies. When people are given equal access to chiropractic care or medical care they choose natural healthcare more often. That’s why you find some insurances not having full access to chiropractic, the AMA still has their hand in the pot working behind the scenes.
With a number of conditions that chiropractic can safely and effectively treat growing all the time chiropractic should be your first approach. Chiropractic is both safe and effective and chiropractors refer to other professions more than the reverse. If medical doctors followed the government guidelines for just low back pain there would not be enough chiropractors in practice to serve all the people suffering from this condition. Yet some in the medical profession would rather have their patients suffer then refer them to the most effective treatment on the planet, how sad. Fortunately that trend has been changing over the past several years and as the older medical doctors die off more people will be referred to safe and effective chiropractic care. A high percentage of the new medical doctors coming into practice are turned off by politics. They realize the dangers of pain pills and are referring more of their patients to chiropractic physicians based on research not politics.
Chiropractic first, drug second and surgery last
is a model to live by.