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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 6, 2010, Vol. 28, Issue 10

ACA Reaffirms Drug-Free Position

By James Edwards, DC

Way back in December 1999, which seems like only yesterday, I authored an article for Dynamic Chiropractic titled "The Four Biggest Lies in Chiropractic," which compared the official policies of the ACA and the ICA on four core topics.

That article shocked many because I was able to document that the ICA and ACA had similar or identical policies on immunization, "separate and distinct," drugs and surgery, and subluxation. Moreover, my research revealed that both organizations also have similar or identical positions on almost every issue, including primary care chiropractic practice diagnosis, thermography and X-ray.

Case closed, right? Nope, because the unfounded accusation that the ACA favors prescriptive drug rights and a two-tiered profession has again reared its ugly head as a result of recent articles in this and other publications. While I fully understand how the intent and purpose of the ACA's September 2009 resolution, which only encouraged the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) to prepare a test for expanded practice, may have been misinterpreted, let me assure you that the ACA does not support a two-tiered profession. More importantly, I want to stress in the strongest possible terms that the ACA certainly does not support the inclusion of prescriptive drugs as a part of chiropractic practice.

How do I know that? Very simple! The ACA Master Plan states, "Chiropractic is a drug-free, nonsurgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery." What part of that clear, concise statement is hard to understand?

I am also pleased to inform you that the above official policy has been reaffirmed by the current ACA House of Delegates, which voted unanimously in February 2010 to remove all confusion by taking the most unusual step of rescinding its previous adopted (and misinterpreted) September 2009 resolution relative to the NBCE. How unusual was that action? During my 15 years as a member of the ACA House of Delegates, and to the best of my knowledge, the ACA has never before rescinded a previously adopted resolution. Without question, the ACA's unprecedented rescindment reinforced and reaffirmed the ACA's core tenant that chiropractic is a "drug-free, non-surgical science."

The bottom line is this. The ACA does not support a two-tiered profession or prescriptive drug rights, and anyone who says differently is either mistaken or has an ulterior motive.

For more information on what is clearly a contentious topic, read the ICA's position in this issue, "Drugs, Chiropractic and Boiled Frogs" by Dr. Christopher Kent (Feb. 12 issue); "Chiropractic Needs an Adjustment, Not Drugs" by Dr. July Campanale (March 26 issue); and the We Get Letters & E-Mail section of the March 26 issue.

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