By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
The Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen to add Charles DuVall Jr.,DC, to the VA Advisory Committee, despite the history of disdain he has shown for chiropractic. Quite simply, Dr. DuVall does not represent the chiropractic profession.
He is the president of the National Association of Chiropractic Medicine (NACM), an organization (not an association) that does not have membership dues, elections or any other mechanism that would suggest a democratic process.
Because the NACM has no dues, there is no membership list, although the NACM is quick to brag that it "represents" thousands. It is a group that claims to be "scientific," although its members hold no degrees advanced beyond chiropractic.
For those who are not aware of DuVall's chiropractic-bashing career (or if you've just forgotten), here are a few reminders:
He was one of the original operators of the Chirobase website, which promotes itself as: "A Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Current Practices."1
On the ChiroBase site, there was a brief biography of DuVall: "He is board chairman of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), a founding member of the council's Ohio chapter, and co-founder and president of the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM), an organization dedicated to chiropractic reform. An outspoken critic of deviant and questionable chiropractic practices, he has been a featured speaker at health-fraud conferences and is a consultant to many organizations, companies and government agencies."
He worked with the New Jersey Health Benefits Commission against chiropractic interests.2
He worked to remove the right of DCs to perform athletic physicals in South Dakota.3,4
He conducted a presentation at the NCAHF's Second Annual Conference and Workshops titled "Chiropractic Nonsense."5
He appeared on CBS' "Eye on America" regarding a chiropractic pediatric case in which he stated: "Infants are not all solid bone. I mean, they're still developing. So all this wackin' and crackin' is totally unnecessary." When CBS asked, "Can harm be done to children?", DuVall responded, "Absolutely."6
He was a consultant for the book Chiropractic: The Victim's Perspective.7
He was quoted in a June 27, 1995 Woman's Day article, "The Well-Adjusted Child," as saying: "We have no hands-on experience treating kids, and no evidence that our treatments work on childhood ailments."8
He made even more derogatory comments in an article in Pediatric Management.
He was interviewed by the "20/20" television program for its hit piece on chiropractic, aired nationally on February 4, 1994.9
Now he is on the VA Advisory Committee to help institute chiropractic care for veterans. Any guesses as to what kinds of positions he'll be taking?
We have a choice. We can sit still and let him trash chiropractic's opportunities with the VA like he has so many other times before, or we can begin a campaign to get him out. To begin this campaign, we are dedicating every issue of Dynamic Chiropractic and all 50,000+ pages of ChiroWeb.com to speaking out about DuVall's removal. From this moment forward, the front page of DC and every page of ChiroWeb will feature the following banner:
We are asking every chiropractic association, college, company and individual that has a publication or website to add this banner on the front page of their publications, and on every page of their websites. To make it easy, we are offering the banner in various file types on our website at www.chiroweb.com/noduvall. (We have consulted with our attorneys regarding the use of this logo, and have been informed that it is our constitutional right to speak out about the actions of the federal government. Please
personally if you require any assistance in initiating a banner on your publication or website.)
This will quietly, but effectively voice our outrage over DuVall's appointment in a way that will be seen by millions of people many times every month. It will demonstrate chiropractic solidarity, and make it clear just how much we dislike and disagree with DuVall.
This will be phase 1 of a multiphase effort to get Charles DuVall removed from the VA Advisory Committee. There is more we can do to drive our point across. Be watching for further action steps.
South Dakota high school boards vote down DCs performing athletic physicals - Duvall's testimony crucial in helping statewide measure fall 27 votes short of passage. Dynamic Chiropractic July 12, 1999. www.chiroweb.com/archives/17/15/21.html