Orthopractic Declares WAR on Chiropractic Pediatrics
Katz Musters Canadian Pediatricians for "Turf War"
By Editorial StaffOn August 18, 1994, 13 prominent Canadian pediatricians released an 11-point statement denouncing chiropractic treatment of children. While the document has not been endorsed by any medical organization, it included pediatricians at many of the major hospitals in Canada. The Globe and Mail, Canada's leading newspaper covered the event with an August 30 front page article, "Pediatricians demand end to child chiropractic therapy."
While this document "welcome(s) the scientific guidelines of the Orthopractic Manipulation Society International," none of the positions taken in the statement site any research to support their claims. Most chiropractic officials we've spoken with see the statement as a bundle of opinions based on anecdotal accounts. According to a reliable source in Canada, none of the 13 pediatricians who signed the document have ever filed a complaint against chiropractic pediatric care.
Even the most cursory reading of the 11-point position statement by the Canadian pediatricians reveals their conspicuous, unfounded, and unscientific bias toward chiropractic pediatrics:
"Chiropractic does NOT alter the course of nor does it prevent in any way childhood illness...Behind the pediatricians' statement, which comes as no surprise, is Dr. Murray Katz, incorporator and sole director of the Orthopractic Manipulation International, Inc. In a transcript of Dr. Katz' speech to the Ontario Medical Association in Toronto, he stated:
"Now there is (sic) Canadian paediatricians all across Canada. I'm the mouthpiece for that. I can tell you there is (sic) 25 people behind me, heads of all the hospitals who are going to make a public pronouncement about this in the next couple of weeks, and they are going to be asking the media all over the province to stop treatment of children of paediatric age up to 18. That's going to be all across Canada."At press time Dr. Katz was unavailable for comment. An interview with Dr. Katz will be requested for our next issue.
Reading the statement reprinted below, you will clearly see the policy and philosophy of Dr. Katz's orthopractic corporation. One has to wonder what place chiropractors _could ever have_ in an organization that supports such statements on chiropractic pediatrics, and places DCs under "medical consultation" while physical therapists may have direct, unrestricted contact.
The marriage of the orthopractic corporation and members of the medical pediatric community in Canada is now official. The groom has wooed the bride (harem of MDs) to the altar, the vows spoken, and the veil lifted, revealing the face of a crusader out to protect the children of the world from that most dreaded health professional -- the chiropractor. The happy couple's first offspring is a decidedly unhealthy pediatric position paper, weighing in at 11 points.
The reporting of the position paper in the Canadian press is cause for concern, after all, many people believe what they read in the paper. And like Niagra Falls, the spill over from Canada is coming our way. Get your hip boots on. This stuff is deep.
Statement of the Chiefs of the Departments of Pediatrics of Pediatric Hospitals in Canada
"We wish to express our great concern over the unscientific claims being made by Canadian chiropractors regarding the proper care of infants and children. These claims come from official statements from both the Canadian and the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Chiropractic treatment for conditions such as ear infections, infantile colic, newborn jaundice, spinal scoliosis, and tonsillitis, amongst others, are being recommended in at least one major textbook being used at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.
We call upon the governments of Ontario and Quebec, which have the only two chiropractic schools in Canada, to evaluate the courses being taught and the claims being made by the graduates of these schools regarding chiropractic treatment of infants and children.
CONTRARY TO INFORMATION BEING PROVIDED TO PARENTS AND TO THE GENERAL CANADIAN PUBLIC
ONE -- Chiropractic spinal manipulation is NOT required as a preventive therapy to maintain a child's health.
TWO -- Chiropractic spinal manipulation is NOT an alternative for pediatric immunization. Books sold at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto are anti-immunization in nature.
THREE -- Chiropractic does NOT alter the course of nor does it prevent in any way childhood illness such as ear infections, asthma attacks, bed-wetting or infantile colic.
FOUR -- Chiropractic use of x-rays of infants and children to diagnose so called vertebral subluxations is unscientific and of no value whatsoever. These x-rays can contribute without any benefit for the child, to the future risk in the child of cancers and genetic damage. Parents should never allow their children's spines to be x-rayed by a chiropractor.
FIVE -- There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the so called chiropractic spinal adjustment results in any correction to a child's spine. These adjustments are ineffective and useless.
SIX -- School Boards should not authorize and parents should not allow their children to attend elementary school screening programs organized by chiropractors to detect scoliosis or any other posture deformities in children. Posture deformities of children such as scoliosis, kyphosis or unequal leg lengths are not effectively treated by manipulation. In the great majority of instances, what a chiropractor may diagnose as scoliosis in a child is in fact a minor variation of a perfectly normal spine.
SEVEN -- Parents should regard with extreme skepticism claims made by some other parents that their infants or children have been cured by chiropractic adjustments for such conditions as: infantile colic, recurrent ear infections, learning disorders, asthma, chronic abdominal cramps or bed-wetting. However well meaning, such personal testimony is unreliable and is not a substitute for scientific fact.
Parents should read the June 1994 issue of Consumer Reports magazine in which the clear recommendation is made not to allow any chiropractor to solicit children for chiropractic treatment.
EIGHT -- We understand the concern of parents in regard to ear infections that they may feel their child has taken many antibiotics or may require surgical procedure. These concerns should not lead the parents to believe that chiropractic adjustments, which have the emotional appeal of being medication free or "natural," are alternative to what may very well be in the best overall interests of the child.
NINE -- We welcome the scientific guidelines of the Orthopractic Manipulation Society International, under which manual therapy can be given in a responsible manner to adults who may require such care. We welcome warnings made in these guidelines about the unscientific use of x-rays and unscientific claims about treating pediatric conditions. We would encourage parents to seek their own personal care from those physical therapists, physicians and chiropractors who adhere to the scientific guidelines of the Orthopractic Manipulation Society International.
TEN -- The musculo-skeletal problems of infants and children can be managed in a safe, scientific and responsible manner by the family physician, the pediatrician, the orthopedic specialists, the physical therapist and with medical consultation, those chiropractors who adhere to the Orthopractic guidelines.
ELEVEN -- We believe it to be irresponsible and a total waste of our limited financial resources for the governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia to be providing millions of dollars of public funds for chiropractors to treat infants and children. Their public fiscal support gives parents the false impression that society endorses such treatments. We call upon these governments to immediately suspend all chiropractic payments in the pediatric age group, i.e., up to age 18 years."
Statement has been signed by:
Dr. Robert H.A. Haslam
Dr. B.A. Wherrett
Dr. Judith G. Hall Professor, Chief
Dr. Pierre Dery
Dr. F. John Holland
Dr. M.H.K. Shokeir
Dr. Grant Gall
Dr. Richard Hamilton
Dr. R. Morrison Hurley
Dr. Claude Pare
Dr. Albert J. Davis
Dr. John M. Bowman
Dr. Robert G. Peterson