The ACA Board of Governors has approved a proposed resolution cautioning its membership against patient research/solicitation schemes that the ACA board describes as "unacceptable and a possible illegal" method of patient inducement.The proposed resolution must now be reviewed and acted upon by the ACA House of Delegates at its annual meeting in June before its final adoption by the ACA.
At issue is a program advocated by some practice-building promoters which combines ostensible chiropractic research with a program to retain research volunteers as patients. Concern has been raised by many within the research segment of the profession that such combined research/patient solicitation programs can only act to cheapen the credibility of chiropractic research as a whole. Questions have also been raised concerning the potential for misrepresentation to a patient of the motives involved in such a program.
The sponsor of the board resolution, Dr. R. Reeve Askew, ACA District 3 governor, stated "The bedrock of this profession is the trust relationship existing between a chiropractor and a patient, in addition, our future as a profession relies on the credibility of our research efforts. My proposal is aimed at protecting both of these vital interests."
The proposed resolution recognizes the legitimate forms of clinical research performed by chiropractors and encourages participation in and support of the chiropractic research. The resolution also acknowledges that the normal practice of chiropractic involves forms of communication to the public such as advertising or marketing subject to appropriate governmental regulations and ethical requirements. Finally, chiropractic examining boards are called upon to investigate and "to take appropriate action" in regard to improper patient solicitation/research programs.
Editor's Note: While the resolution we be presented to the ACA house of delegates in June of 1991, the actual resolution can not be published prior to ratification by the House of Delegates. For this reason, the resolution can not be publicized until that time.