The WFC has been growing in prominence over the last 10 years. One indication of the WFC's status is its recognition by the WHO. The WFC is represented every year at two WHO gatherings: the executive board meeting (in January) and the annual assembly (in May).
The first two days of the event was a council meeting of the WFC. A representative of each national chiropractic association provided a short country report. Here are some excerpts of what's going on around the chiropractic world:
Australia -- After a careful survey of their members, the Chiropractors' Association of Australia has developed a statement of core values.
Bolivia -- One of the largest hospitals in the country is expanding to include chiropractic as an integrated part of its care.
Brazil -- The first class will be graduating from the chiropractic college at Aspeur/Feevale on April 8, 2000.
Egypt -- The possibility of developing a chiropractic college is being examined.
France -- Even though chiropractic is still not "legal" here, some private insurance companies have begun reimbursing for chiropractic care.
Israel -- All 61 DCs in Israel are members of the Israeli Chiropractic Society. (See "The State of Chiropractic in Israel" on the front page of this issue.) May was "chiropractic month," involving an advertising campaign that included a toll-free phone number for information and referral.
Italy -- A new chiropractic college is in development with the aim of university affiliation.
Lebanon -- A Lebanese chiropractor has been charged with practicing medicine without a license.
Netherlands -- A new law has legalized chiropractic, but DCs don't have x-ray privileges.
New Zealand -- Beginning July 1, 1999, chiropractors will be included as a "primary contact" in the National Compensation Act.
Norway -- New legislation introduced in Parliament will improve the status of DCs. Chiropractors here have developed a 20-page brochure and distributed 15,000 copies of it to other health care providers, researchers and the media.
United Kingdom -- Chiropractic registration began in June. On April 28, 1999, the "College of Chiropractors" was established to coordinate knowledge and research within the profession.
New WFC Members
Twelve new chiropractic associations were recognized:
Associacion de Quiropractores en Argentina
Bahamas Chiropractic Association
Chiropractors Association of Cayman Islands
Associacion Quiropractica de Chile
Associacion Quiropracticos de Costa Rica
Sociedad Quiropractica Salvadorena
Hungarian Chiropractic Association
Icelandic Chiropractic Association
Japanese Association of Chiropractors
Namibian Chiropractic Association
Associacion Quiropractica de Peru
Slovenian Chiropractic Association
The Situation in Japan
Probably the most dramatic event of the World Chiropractic Congress was the fate of the Chiropractic Council of Japan (CCJ). The WFC had "provisionally terminated" the CCJ's membership in a letter dated February 20, 1998 (ratified on May 5, 1998). The concerns were:
• The CCJ was supported by the Oshima Foundation. The conduct of the foundation was seen as detrimental to the interests of the chiropractic profession.
• The CCJ had failed to adopt an educational policy to prevent its members "from teaching weekend courses to non-chiropractors and continuing to allow members to participate in such activities."
• The CCJ had failed to broadly represent the chiropractors in Japan
The CCJ was given until August 31, 1998 to rectify these issues. By the time the World Congress met, the CCJ no longer supported the Oshima Foundation. The CCJ had instituted an education policy, but didn't call for their members to discontinue teaching weekend chiropractic-related courses to non-chiropractors until "the end of March, 2001."
A motion was made to formally terminate the CCJ's membership in the WFC. During the discussion, the CCJ requested that they be given a 2-year deferral before agreeing to discontinue teaching weekend chiropractic courses to non-chiropractors. The CCJ's request was voted down by the delegates 63-11. The CCJ's membership in the World Federation of Chiropractic has been terminated.
The WFC only recognizes one national chiropractic association from each country. (The one exception is the United States. Please see "How Low Must We Go" in this issue.) In place of the CCJ, the Japanese Association of Chiropractors was welcomed as a new member association and representative of Japanese chiropractors.
WFC Establishes Policy on Prescription Drugs
Another important event was the passage of a policy on the use of prescription drugs. This policy re-affirms that "the art, philosophy and science of chiropractic have always emphasized the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery and the legal scope of practice of chiropractic in all jurisdictions is based upon that premise."
The policy concludes: "The World Federation of Chiropractic resolves that for reasons of chiropractic principle, patient welfare and interdisciplinary cooperation, the practice of chiropractic does not include the use of prescription drugs; chiropractic patients who may benefit from prescription drugs should be referred, where appropriate, to a medical doctor or other suitably qualified health care practitioner."
Dictionary Definition of Chiropractic Developed
The delegates also established a dictionary definition of chiropractic that can be used in dictionaries around the world:
"Chiropractic: A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments, including spinal manipulation or adjustment."
WFC Conference Program
The last three days of the World Chiropractic Congress featured a vast array of international speakers and presentations. This part of the week was well-attended, predominantly by DCs from Australia and New Zealand. Under the rubrics of "traditional and new approaches," there were dozens of individual presentations (as many as eight presentations occurring simultaneously), a number of panel discussions, and various workshops.
One of the highlights of the sessions was the "New Zealand Commission of Inquiry -- 20 Years Later." Chiropractic patients, doctors, attorneys, a judge and others who were present during the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry recollected events that shaped the course of chiropractic in New Zealand and elsewhere.
Original Chiropractic Research
The original research presentations this year were co-sponsored by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER). The quality and quantity of chiropractic research continues to grow. There were over 130 papers and poster presentations in Auckland, covering examination, adjusting techniques, clinical management, diagnostic sciences and areas of special interest. (Please see "Chiropractic Research around the World" in this issue, Dr. William Meeker's report on the research presented in Auckland.)
There were four awards given for the best research papers:
• First Place ($5,000) -- Effects of Sacroiliac Joint Manipulation on Quadriceps Inhibition in Patients with Anterior Knee pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Esther Suter,PhD, Gordon McMorland,DC, Walter Herzog,PhD, Robert Bray,MD. University of Calgary, Canada.
• Second Place ($3,000) -- The Effects of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DPT) or Tetanus Vaccination on Allergies and Respiratory Symptoms Among Children and Adolescents in the United States. Eric Hurwitz,DC,PhD, Hal Morgenstern,PhD. UCLA School of Public Health, USA.
• Third Place ($1,000) -- A Randomized Controlled Trial of Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Migraine. Peter Tuchin,GradDipChiro,BSc,DipOIIS, Henry Pollard, GradDipChiro BSc,MAppSc, Rodney Bonello,DC,BSc,MHA,DO. Macquarie University, Centre for Chiropractic, Australia.
• Private Practitioners Award -- A Combined Approach for the Treatment of Cervical Vertido. Eduardo Sawaya Botellio Bracher, DC,MD, Clemente Riberio de Almeida,MD, Roberta Ribeiro de Almeida,MD, Andre Campos Dubrat, private practice, Brazil.
Every two years, the WFC recognizes those individuals who have most affected the growth of chiropractic throughout the world. This year's recipients were:
• Andries Kleynhans,DC,BSc,DTE, for his work with RMIT University in establishing a chiropractic college in Japan, and fostering chiropractic education development elsewhere in Asia.
• John Sweaney,DC, for his work representing chiropractic and the WFC internationally, particularly with the World Health Organization.
The next World Chiropractic Congress will be in Paris, France, May 21-26, 2001. This event is expected to be another exceptional opportunity to hear and learn from the best that chiropractic has to offer around the globe. Look for more information on this event in upcoming articles in Dynamic Chiropractic.