What alternative health

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Significant issues and developments related to chiropractic.


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"He [Australian chiropractor, Joseph Ierano] chose to complain, revealing to all that he is not interested in a discussion but rather silencing of an organization that did no more than report on an already widely publicized article." Article by Jeff Wagg, James Randi Educational Foundation (11th October 2009)

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"Over the foundation's history, volunteers contributed more than 33,000 articles and helped fund over 152 randomized, controlled trials concerning chiropractic manipulation, as well as supported over 100 research fellowships leading to MS and/or PhD degrees…the loss of FCER will have a devastating effect on the chiropractic profession." Dynamic Chiropractic (October 2009)

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"A $500,000 donation from Standard Process highlighted the record financial support received by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (FCP) at the Florida Chiropractic Association 2009 national convention and expo in Orlando. All told, the foundation received approximately $650,000 in pledges…The mission of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is 'To increase the public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic'." The Chiropractic Resource Organisation (29th September 2009)

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"Chiropractors are getting very touchy indeed, all over the world. And no wonder, because their claims are being exposed as baseless as never before…" Critique of the latest attempt by chiropractors (this time in New Zealand) to stifle criticism. By David Colquhoun, DC Science (23rd September 2009)

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Informed consent has been brought up before in the Connecticut state Legislature but the bill has never gone anywhere. Now supporters are bringing their issues before a state board to create awareness to certain chiropractic procedures that could hurt you. Connecticut News (10th September 2009)

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"I can confirm today that I have applied for a hearing to ask the Court of Appeal to reconsider its recent denial of permission…..The new application will be oral, as opposed to the previous one, which was on paper." Simon Singh's full statement available via this link to Sense About Science. (11th August 2009)

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"The Dutch sceptics group, Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VtdK — The Society against Quackery) have managed to overturn an important court ruling that was preventing them calling quacks *quacks*. In a remarkable case, that in many ways closely parallels the BCA vs. Simon Singh case in the UK, a judge has decided that using a narrow definition of the word 'Quack' that a previous ruling was forcing the group to defend in a libel case, was incompatible with Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights." The Quackometer (3rd August 2009)

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"In an article in the Guardian last year, [Simon] Singh made claims regarding the evidence base alleged to support the promotion of chiropractic treatments in certain non-skeletal conditions in children. As Singh explains on the website www.senseaboutscience.org.uk, the Guardian offered the BCA an opportunity to lay out their evidence rather than to sue him for libel. The BCA opted to sue…..the vice president of the BCA, Richard Brown, has now presented the evidence. He writes, "There is in fact substantial evidence for the BCA to have made claims that chiropractic can help various childhood conditions" and lists 18 references. Readers can decide for themselves whether or not they are convinced. Edzard Ernst is not. His demolition of the 18 references is, to my mind, complete. Weak science sheltered from criticism by officious laws means bad medicine. Singh is determined to fight the lawsuit rather than apologise for an article he believes to be sound. He and his supporters have in their sights not only the defence of this case but the reform of England's libel laws." Fiona Godlee, Editor, British Medical Journal (9th July 2009)

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Science journalist Simon Singh joins ABC's Lateline to discuss the defamation case brought against him. Dr Singh is being sued by the British Chiropractic Association after he criticised some chiropractors in the UK for claiming they could treat some childhood conditions like colic. ABC News — Australia (6th July 2009) [11mins 49secs]

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"The BCA [British Chiropractic Association] has shot itself in the foot by taking the heavy-handed approach it did with respect to Simon Singh's article. By doing so, it has brought the lack of good evidence for many of chiropractors' claims right out into the bright light of day." Article by Professor Chris French, Guardian Science News (20th June 2009)

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"Please rally around him. Don't just post your comments here, go to the The Times website and register your support for Simon there, too. Also, British readers please write to your MP, to newspapers etc. And please sign your support for the campaign to reform English libel law, and end England's ignominious status as the Libel Tourism Capital of the World." Richard Dawkins, RichardDawkins.net (13th June 2009)

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"Beginning May 28th a series of trucks started travelling through various cities and towns in Connecticut with the message "Are you aware there is a risk of stroke with a chiropractic adjustment?" These trucks will be on the road from 9am to 5pm five days a week." PRWEB Press Release (29th May 2009)

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Under its new budget, the province of Alberta, Canada, will no longer pay for chiropractic services. It is calculated that it will save $53 million. Edmonton Journal (8th April 2009) [NOTE: Chiropractic services have also been delisted by the governments of the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.]

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"Donald Harte, a Corte Madera chiropractor, has been ordered to pay two of his former patients a total of more than $7,000 after they took him to small claims court alleging he used false advertising and scare tactics. Commissioner Harvey Goldfine, who presided over the small claims proceeding in Marin County Superior court on Jan. 30, took several weeks to weigh the evidence before issuing his decision on Feb. 19. "I think he was very clear," Gertrude West, one of the patients, said of Goldfine's decision. West, 76, of Larkspur said Harte lured her into his practice with false advertising, used scare tactics to get her to sign a long-term contract and refused to refund her money when her condition failed to improve. The other former patient, Victoria Pollock-Grasso of Tiburon, objected to Harte charging her a $559 administrative fee when she decided to stop receiving adjustments from him. Grasso said she stopped seeing Harte because an orthopedist she went to for a second opinion informed her she had degenerative disc disease in her cervical spine and that Harte's manipulation of her neck could cause her to have a stroke." Contra Costa Times (28th February 2009)

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A team of research-oriented chiropractors have bared their profession's shortcomings in an article that calls for "dramatic changes." The article states:

(1) Chiropractic's market share is dwindling.

(2) Despite its longevity, the profession has not succeeded in establishing respect within mainstream society.

(3) A Gallup Poll found that it rated dead last among healthcare professions with regard to ethics and honesty.

(4) Many chiropractors aggressively (and dogmatically, without evidence) have opposed public health measures such as vaccination and fluoridation.

(5) The profession must become more involved in teaching patients how to stay healthy without frequent, endless visits to chiropractic offices.

(6) Many chiropractic colleges embrace the concept of spinal subluxation as the cause of a variety of internal diseases and the metaphysical pseudo-religious idea of "innate intelligence" flowing through spinal nerves with spinal subluxations impeding this flow. These concepts lack a scientific foundation and should not be taught at chiropractic institutions as part of the standard curriculum. Faculty members who hold to and teach these belief systems should be replaced.

(7) There is a tremendous void in how chiropractic graduates develop any meaningful hands-on clinical experience with real patients in real life situations.

(8) The chiropractic profession has an obligation to actively divorce itself from metaphysical explanations of health and disease as well as to actively regulate itself in refusing to tolerate fraud abuse and quackery which are more rampant in chiropractic than in other healthcare professions.

Murphy DR and others. How can chiropractic become a respected mainstream profession? The example of podiatry. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 16(10) 2008.  Full article re-published in this link to Chirobase (24th February 2009)

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An update from Professor David Colquhoun on the legal threats being made by the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association: "Although the chiropractors seem to be rather upset by the criticisms that have been levelled against them, the most interesting war is not between chiropractors and people who think that medicine should not be based on metaphysics. It's the war *within* chiropractic itself." DC Science (5th September 2008)