Recently, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) sent out a communique to interested parties asking for commentary about proposed changes its intends to adopt at its January 2011 meeting. In two words, here is my opinion of the proposed changes: totally unacceptable.
As a student of chiropractic history, I can tell you that during the past 115 years, ideologues from both the right and left have tried to move this profession to their minority view of what it should be, with total disregard for the majority view of the mainstream of this profession. After beating back and defeating the ridiculous "subluxation only, no diagnosis" position of the extreme right-wing minority of the profession, we are now faced with the equally unacceptable "ivory tower" position of the extreme left-wing minority of the profession.
This left-wing fringe of the profession, through revision to CCE standards, is now attempting to abolish all references to the subluxation, willing to designate our degree as DCM (Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine), and willing to delete all language that states chiropractic is a drugless and non-surgical profession. Are you paying attention? You should be because, to a great degree, CCE has the authority and power to define who you are and what you do. So, why am I so upset? Well, just look at CCE's proposed changes:
- Adding the words or their equivalent to DC degree programs, thus authorizing the DCM degree;
- Deleting every reference to the word subluxation; and
- Deleting the "without the use of drugs and surgery" provision.
Something tells me I now have your full, undivided attention because each and every one of those changes flies in the face of the mainstream view of the majority of doctors of chiropractic, and they certainly conflict with the official policies of both the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the International Chiropractors Association (ICA).
I researched the ACA Policies and ACA Master Plan and found that just those three proposed changes conflict with 15 official ACA policies, with several being specific to each issue.
In regard to the DCM degree, the ACA's official position reads as follows (with emphasis added): "Any effort to develop a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DCM) degree is not necessary and may in fact be in conflict with some existing state scope of practice laws." (Ratified by the House of Delegates, July 1994).
In regard to drugs and surgery, the ACA's Master Plan reads as follows (with emphasis added): "Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery."
And in regard to the word "subluxation, it is referenced in many ACA official policies including the following (with emphasis added): "Resolved, that the House of Delegates reaffirms the core principle of the subluxation. The ACA will strive to reiterate this principle and further state that the core treatment of chiropractic is manual manipulation/adjustment of the articulations, both spinal and extra-spinal, to reduce subluxations." (Ratified by the House of Delegates, September 2000).
I then researched the ICA's official policies and learned that they, too, are also are in direct conflict with CCE's proposed changes. Here are just two examples (with emphasis added):
"The ART of chiropractic pertains to the skill and judgment required for the detection, location, analysis, control, reduction and correction of primarily the vertebral subluxation complex."
"The PRACTICE of chiropractic consists of the analysis of interference with normal nerve transmission and expression produced by abnormalities of one or more vertebral motor units or other skeletal structures and the correction thereof by adjustment of these structures for the restoration and maintenance of health, without the use of drugs or surgery. The ICA considers the therapeutic use of drugs and surgery to be the practice of medicine."
So, what can you do to correct this problem? Well, you have until Sept. 24 to comment on the proposed changes on the CCE Web site. On behalf of the mainstream of this profession, the ACA and ICA have been encouraged to issue a joint statement in strong opposition to the CCE proposed changes. Let's see if that happens, and then let's see if CCE will heed the voices of the elected representatives of this profession.
I look forward to informing you that CCE's proposed changes were rejected or, in the alternative, reporting the names of the individuals and organizations responsible for them being adopted. Stay tuned.
Click here for more information about James Edwards, DC.