The first 65 years of our profession’s history was marked by a desire for freedom. The pioneers in chiropractic fought for, lobbied for, and spent great sums of money, time, and energy to secure the freedom to practice chiropractic and to promote the benefits of it. There were many in the medical establishment who fought just as hard to deny us that freedom. Despite the medical efforts today, chiropractic enjoys the greatest freedom in its history. With few exceptions, a graduate of chiropractic college can open an office in any community in which he or she desires and practice unmolested. He or she has the freedom and the opportunity to be successful; to rise to the level of his or her ability; and to obtain unbelievable wealth. Truly that can only happen in a nation like the United States of America. In Soviet Russia where freedom is virtually nonexistent, a chiropractor would live in a one bedroom apartment and share a common bathroom with a laborer, school teacher, physician, or retired worker despite his or her ability.
When our Founding Fathers formed this republic, they obviously did not think about chiropractic. But life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are as much a part of the chiropractic philosophy as they are a part of the Declaration of Independence. Chiropractic deals with life. An understanding of the chiropractic philosophy gives you liberty or freedom from the fear of disease. In surveys, the majority of people say that health is a prerequisite to happiness. Being healthy surely gives people the opportunity to pursue those things which will give them happiness. Chiropractic, like the government, does not guarantee happiness, just the opportunity to pursue it. There is another principle upon which this country was founded: the principle of equality. It appears, however, that the framers of our constitutional government had a somewhat different concept of equality than we have today. The same men who said “all men are created equal” also allowed slavery to exist and denied women the right to vote. It seems that to ,ÿ3 them equality meant equal opportunity for the pursuit of happiness and that men would be equal as far as the law was concerned. Don’t forget, they came from an environment where there was one set of laws for the common man and one set for nobility. They surely did not believe that all men are created equal. Mankind is not equal, physically, mentally, or emotionally. If we were, six other runners would have crossed the finish line at the same time as Carl Lewis thus turning the Olympics into a boring predictable event. Equality would destroy the challenge of all sports. The object of all sports is to see which individual or team is superior on a given day. Equality would destroy free enterprise. If every product and service were the same, there would be no incentive in business and industry. In a real sense, freedom and equality are antithetical. The more freedom you have the less equality you have. Russia has near total equality and virtually no freedom. We, in the chiropractic profession, are enjoying our greatest freedom since 1895. But, we are now looking for equality. We desire status in the community, equal recognition by the government, and its agencies, and equality as far as the third party payers are concerned. I think the word is “parity”. There is nothing wrong with equality when something is truly the same. There is nothing wrong with equality as long as it does not destroy freedom but, under most situations it does.
Our pursuit of equality with the medical profession is destroying our freedom in chiropractic. We are no longer free to teach the subject matter in chiropractic colleges that we choose and in a manner that we choose. Equality demands that our education be the same, at least that is the thinking of many of our leaders. But perhaps the greatest example and the one that touches upon almost every chiropractic office is insurance equality. There are numerous courses taught which show you how you can have virtually all your claims paid just like the M.D. However, in order to do that you must give up your freedoms. Give up the freedom to call yourself a chiropractor and instead call yourself a “physician” and your percentage of claims paid will rise. Make a diagnosis, thereby relinquishing the freedom to be honest and state what you do, analyze and correct vertebral subluxations and your percentage rises. Incorporate numerous procedures as does the “treating physician” and you can charge 40, 60, 80 dollars per visit. Before long your case fee is equal to that of the medical doctor. Unfortunately in so doing, you have become a slave to needless, mostly worthless, and perhaps dangerous procedures that roll, heat, massage, and electrically affect the body of a person who needs only an adjustment to restore the health to his or her body. The chiropractor also gives up the freedom of being self-employed for the security of a regular government or insurance company check. There is nothing wrong with security, we all desire it. However, there is something wrong with giving up our freedom to obtain it. Freedom is never taken away quickly or all at once. It occurs insidiously. There is always something seemingly more valuable given in its place.
In the case of contemporary chiropractic, it is the idea of equality with the Medical profession and the potential of making vast sums of money that attract the chiropractor. When you think about it, every nation of the world that is enslaved by a Marxist-socialist government (Russia, China, Cuba, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa) have all allowed their freedom to be taken away and in fact encouraged it because those who desired to enslave them offered the population two things equality and a better standard of living. Will chiropractic give up its principle and the freedom to practice that principle for equality and the promise of a better living? Many in our profession are willing. Let us hope that enough are not willing so that our profession and principle will be preserved for our posterity to enjoy.

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