The battle to defend chiropractic in Brazil heated up on July 18, 2008 when the Brazilian Chiropractors' Association (ABQ) was successful in getting an injunction filed against an organization called Physion and its "chiropractic teachers," who operate weekend courses for physiotherapists.Process servers armed with the injunction halted a Physion weekend course getting underway at the Novo Hamburgo Business Hotel in Rio Grande do Sul in the south of Brazil.
"It was a Friday afternoon when the officials arrived with the injunction," said Dr. Juliana Piva of Rio de Janeiro, ABQ president, "and the Physion lecturers resisted at first." However, once they learned of the daily $10,000 fine for each teacher and the daily $5,000 fine for each student, the course was abandoned.
Physion and the regional representative of COFFITO, the national authority for physiotherapists in Brazil, challenged the injunction; however a judge denied the challenge on July 27. As of press time, Physion and COFFITO have filed an appeal.
"This battle for an independent chiropractic profession in Brazil is far from over," said Dr. Stathis Papadopoulos, president of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). "It would be a disaster not only in Brazil but [also] internationally if chiropractic was ever recognized as a specialty of physiotherapy - and the WFC continues to appeal to its members and all others for funding support for the legal and campaign costs being incurred by the ABQ."
According to the WFC, most DCs in Brazil are young and not well-established financially, as they have only recently graduated in the past five years from the country's two new university chiropractic programs. "Funds raised through the WFC - more than $120,000 - have been generously given and a great help," said former ABQ president and campaign leader Dr. Sira Borges. "But, sadly, they have now been exhausted over the past 18 months."
To learn how you can support efforts to protect the practice of chiropractic in Brazil, visit the WFC Web site at www.wfc.org. For background on the ongoing conflict between chiropractors and physiotherapists in Brazil, see "Palmer DCs Are Detained in Brazil" in the Aug. 12, 2008 issue of DC.