Notwithstanding 15 years of litigation in the Wilk case, I was appalled to see that a letter to the AMN published February 17, 1992 attempted to undo all of the beneficial results of the litigation and the opening of dialogue by reprinting a recent bizarre ad talking about how chiropractic care affects the "immune system" and how an untreated subluxation can lead to death. I have received outraged calls from chiropractors across the land complaining about the ad and the fact that the AMA News would use it as characteristic of modern day chiropractic. I am informed that the ad is being placed on hospital bulletin boards as characteristic of the unscientific nature of chiropractic.
To chiropractors who would publish such ads (the button theory and the subluxation death threats) I can only ask you to contemplate the enormous damage to the reputation of the profession and its members that such unsubstantiated ads do. Perhaps I should repeat a question asked me by a medical physician: Identify one person on earth, by name and former address, who has ever died of an untreated subluxation? In 1992, that type of scare ad without scientific proof is no more valid than an ad taken out by me stating that leprechauns cause baldness and you should buy my anti-leprechaun medication. The fact that I might believe it is an insufficient basis for representing it as fact.
If the profession continues to publish theory, in the absence of scientific support, and continues to waste its funds on outrageous advertising rather than investigate the truth of the theory in meaningful scientific studies, then the enormous progress made by the profession and its leadership over the last 20 years will have been wasted. A philosophy is no substitute for rational thought and a desire for business is no substitute for meaningful supportive research.
George P. McAndrews
George McAndrews served as lead trial counsel for the successful plaintiffs in the celebrated 14-year antitrust case, Wilk et al v. AMA et al.; and as lead plaintiff's counsel in the racketeering case Chinnici v Central DuPage Hospital et al. (1990). Learn more by clicking here.