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Chiropractic News Digest #03-05

July 2, 2003

Chiropractic News Digest, edited by Christopher J. Erickson, M.D. and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch, summarizes scientific and political developments; enforcement actions; and other news relevant to the chiropractic marketplace.

Chiropractors respond to stroke study. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has paised its own efforts in tempering publicity surrounding the negative report in the May 13 issue of Neurology [ACA responds swiftly to stroke study; negative publicity diffused. eACA Today. June 2003]. Bill Lauretti, DC and Jaclyn Beuttner, DC were credited in this effort. Like the ACA, the World Chiropractic Association (WCA) had little specific criticism of the study. Instead, it issued a press release calling the media a "pawn of the medical profession." [WCA lashes out at media for misleading stroke stories. WCAnews. June 25, 2003]. WCA president Terry Rondberg, DC encouraged fellow chiropractors to pay newspapers advertising fees if necessary to carry the release. Rondberg is also president of a malpractice insurance company. These responses parallel organized chiropractic's to the unfavorable meta-analysis of spinal manipulation described in Chiropractic News Digest #03-03,. Rather than investigating chiropractic's shortcomings, the International Chiropractors Association, for example, suggested that the Justice Department consider whether publication of the study violated a federal injunction against illegally boycotting chiropractors (which it did not).

WCA mounts aggressive drive. The World Chiropractic Association has announced a three-pronged effort to increase its political influence:

Life University strikes an accreditation deal. A deal has been struck between the Council on Chiropractic Education and Life University. An agreement extends Life's accredited status and makes a special provision for a new accreditation procedure scheduled for completion by the end of January 2005 [Life University reaches agreement with Council on Chiropractic Education. Dynamic Chiropractic. Accessed 7/2/03]. The Council's previous revocation of the school's accreditation had resulted in a dramatic drop-off in enrollment and prompted a $100 million lawsuit against the CCE. [Ahmed S and others. Deal lets Life U retain accreditation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 6/25/03]. In a strongly-worded editorial, National University of Health Sciences president James Winterstein, DC, lamented the reaction of much of the chiropractic community to Life's revocation:

"If all those who are so opposed to the decision by the COA [the CCE's Commission on Accreditation] regarding Life's DCP accreditation would simply dedicate their time and money to correcting the deficiencies, perhaps the circumstance could be fixed in an appropriate amount of time - and in the process, we would avoid the perils of professional genocide." [Winterstein J. Chiropractic Genocide? Dynamic Chiropractic. June 16, 2003]

Dynamic Chiropractic editor claims ICA more moderate. A recent editorial by the publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic suggests that the recent elections by the International Chiropractors Association demonstrate a moderation and modernization of the organization. [Peterson D. A profession divided? ICA elections bring new hope. Dynamic Chiropractic. June 16, 2003] However, a paper on the ICA Web site by newly-elected vice-president Fred Barge, DC (a true believer in fundamentalist chiropractic dogma) examines the chiropractic answer to questions such as "What is Immortality?" [Barge F. The First Four Questions. ICA Review. June 1998]

Chiropractic fraud allegations. Officials from California and Nevada searched the homes of several attorneys for evidence of insurance kickback scams. [Thompson D. $2m in insurance claim kickbacks is under inquiry. The Fresno Bee. June 19, 2003] The actions stemmed from previous searches of chiropractic clinics. The attorneys are alleged to have participated in schemes in which claims were submitted for services not provided. The authorities have seized 2,700 patient files.

Chiropractor charged with false advertising. David R. Friedman, DC, who is licensed to practice in North Carolina, was one of several people named in a false advertising complaint filed against Seasilver USA, Inc, and its owners. On June 12, 2003, in a Nevada Federal District Court, the Federal Trade Commission charged the defendants with deceptive marketing and obtained a temporary restraining order to temporarily halt company operations. A major part of the company's marketing program involved deceptive infomercials in which Friedman, who serves as chairman of the company's advisory board, was interviewed. Quackwatch's detailed report includes an analysis of one of the infomercials.

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This page was posted on July 2, 2003.