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The Scientific Brief Against Chiropractic:
Summary

In the course of this brief, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec has set forth its views on the question of chiropractic.

The scientific value of chiropractic has been examined at the outset. Defined in Bill 216, presented in February 1963 to the Quebec legislature, as "the art of detecting and localizing obstructions which, in the mechanical structure of the human body, alter the distribution and normal physiologic action of nervous inflow to tissues and cells; of correcting these obstructions by manipulation, particularly in the region of the vertebral column; and of advising the measures necessary to prevent their return; the whole without the aid of medications nor of surgery," chiropractic rests on four postulates:

None of these interdependent postulates is supported by scientific proof. To go even further, scientific evidence, both experimental and clinical, is wholly opposed to the theory in principle and in application. Because of its essential fallacy, chiropractic has contributed nothing to the progress of science. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec, therefore, cannot accept chiropractic as a valid method for the treatment of patients.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons submits also that the education of chiropractors is unacceptable because in schools of chiropractic the numbers and training of the teachers, as well as the organization of the courses, are far below minimum standards.

It has also been demonstrated in this brief that chiropractic is dangerous, because it leaves the patient without a diagnosis and without the treatment specifically indicated for his or her particular illness, and because the maneuvers of which it consists are themselves potentially dangerous. A clear distinction has been made between vertebral manipulation as a medical procedure, used in well-defined conditions and in appropriate cases, and vertebral manipulation as a chiropractic cure-all with its basis in false hypotheses.

Lastly, the peculiarities of legislation concerning chiropractic have been discussed. The wide variations in privileges granted to, and restrictions imposed on, chiropractic in the states and provinces in which it has been legalized shows that legislatures have more or less tolerated chiropractors but have not endorsed chiropractic. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that in the wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45 no chiropractor was employed as such in the Canadian and American armed forces.

The lack of financial support to schools of chiropractic by state and provincial governments also confirms the impression. No university, no scientific group nor society supports chiropractic theory.

Some consequences of the legal recognition of chiropractic in this province have been set forth.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec rejects chiropractic because:

The College can accept no part of the responsibility for legal recognition of chiropractic in the Province of Quebec, neither before the people of the province nor before the tribunal of history.

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