Defining Chiropractic

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Who gets to define what the practice of chiropractic is(at least in the U.S.)? In 1974 that question was answered once and for all when Louisiana, the last state in the United States to do so, licensed chiropractic and chiropractors agreed to be licensed to practice under the aegis of the state. Chiropractors once and for all gave up the right to define chiropractic. The state government gets to define chiropractic, to answer the above question. Thus far that is good or at least it is better than allowing the federal government to do it. We experienced that situation some years back when the federal government decided it was no longer the right of the state or individual municipalities to decide what the maximum speed limit should be, since they gave states “federal money” to pay for the roads, they should make the speed limit laws and they decided that 55 mph should be the limit, even though residents of the states created that federal money in the form of their taxes. Apparently state rights issue came up.(Remember we fought a war over that issue in 1861 in which hundreds of thousands of Americans on both sides of the issue died). The victors of that war got to pass a law (the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution) to settle the issue once and for all). Since they could not get a 55 mph speed limit written into the Constitution and since the Constitution, rightly so, gives all rights not outlined in the Constitution to the individual states, slowly but surely the states began to take back the right to establish speed limit laws.
Aegis is defined as “a means of defense, a safeguard.” The question is who is the law meant to defend and safeguard? Apparently all laws are meant to safeguard and to protect everybody. The Constitution is designed to ensure that the individual state, municipality, and citizens of the state are given the right to establish the law. That’s why the state charged with protecting and safeguarding the state highways can set the speed limit at 40, 55, 65 or 70(in some places in my state), whatever they feel is best under the circumstances but the local municipality can set the speed limit as low as 15 mph in school zones. Some of them recognized that 15 mph is not a needed safeguard on Saturdays and Sundays and so altered the speed limit laws to only “when flashing” or during the times the kiddies are walking to and from school. I think it works well. Imagine if we had some bureaucrat in Washington DC establishing the speed limit in Blandon Pennsylvania.
The laws concerning the practice of chiropractic are meant to defend and safeguard everybody, chiropractors and the general public alike. In that sense it is a double edge sword. It limits the chiropractor to only being free to do certain things which the state believes he is trained and competent in doing and protects him as long he is staying within those limits. It protects him from civil and criminal prosecution and inter-professional persecution. State-by-state, the individual states created laws concerning the practice of chiropractic and with the passage of the law in Louisiana all the states representing every chiropractor in the country said or agreed that DD, and BJ Palmer no longer had the right to define chiropractic. That right now belongs to the individual states. They (the states) have the right to define chiropractic and to, by the duly elected representatives of the people, change the definition of chiropractic. Today we are seeing battles in state legislatures to change state law, battles that have been going on since the first state passed the first law licensing chiropractors in that state. Chiropractic is no longer what BJ said it was in 1906, 1927, or 1961 or in 1976 when the FSCO was formed and said we should define chiropractic by its objective. It’s what the individual states say it is in 2015. That makes chiropractic, like almost everything these days, a matter of politics and in a republic, one that is fast becoming a democracy, that amounts to a majority rule. The problem is that very few know and the majority don’t care what BJ said chiropractic was at any time. Fortunately BJ and those around him left us with certain principles, 33 in number, that can provide not a law but a foundation based upon reason and logic as to how we should practice chiropractic.

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Posted in: Thinking Straight

This article has 8 comments

  1. David Suskin 03/09/2015, 8:08 pm:

    Joe,
    As per email,
    I might have to encourage party’s involved to move to I don’t know, Montana?? or some remote Island. Oh yeh, that brings me back to the Island of Manhattan or of Long 🙂
    Anyway, might as well bring it up here.
    Chiropractic as a Non-Therapeutic, Immaterial Delivery Service, I mean, you can’t see or observe the objective, by Philosophy, so rename it and perform the philosophy (no one owns a philosophy yes/no), just don’t call yourself Doctor yes/no?? OY >> be kind!

    • Joe Strauss 03/12/2015, 2:04 pm:

      Dave, while no one owns the philosophy, the state “owns” the practice of chiropractic. The State has also owned the practice of medicine almost since 1895. I’m surprised that medicine did not take that tact when chiropractic began, or at least opted for licensure. Perhaps if they had chiropractors would have had to become medical doctors or to define chiropractic by its objective (OSC). Instead it has taken over 100 years for most chiropractors to admit that they really want to be medical doctors.

      • David Suskin 03/12/2015, 5:44 pm:

        Joe,
        Yeh? Chiropractors admitting that they really want(ed) to be medical doctors??? I agree with that Joe, in part. So what happened? Grades weren’t good enough? Easier to become a Chiropractor? Why wouldn’t people pursue their career desire? What do YOU think Joe? I know my reason.

  2. David Suskin 03/10/2015, 12:31 am:

    A philosophy belongs to know one. It is we that belong to a philosophy.
    If the 33Ps are a basic science then they can belong to any applied science and be called Anything.
    Material can be taken by ownership. Immaterial things belong to no one and everyone.

    • Glenn Allen 03/10/2015, 5:47 pm:

      Fortunately, the 33 principles are not a basic science, they are what they are, PRINCIPLES! They and the Philosophy belong to nobody, but hopefully, someday, when all get their heads out of the sand, will be shared by everyone!

      • Joe Strauss 03/12/2015, 1:08 pm:

        Glenn, how exactly would you define a basic science? An example or two might be helpful.

  3. Glenn Allen 03/10/2015, 6:05 pm:

    Unfortunately, we are running into the same problem with Spinology. There are those who have decided on their own since Reggie’s passing, to re-define the practice as if no one can do anything about it. On the fortunate side, Chiropractic has been re-defined so many times, and those re-defining it have managed to get away with it, Chiropractic is doing our work for us. Anyone practicing Spinology here in the STATES, in a manner other than Reggie’s stated, accepted way, is automatically practicing Chiropractic without a license, and the local Chiropractic agencies shut them down for us. We have done so many times on our own, and Chiropractic , by being it’s own watchdog, as best it can, inadvertantly is our watchdog too. We have more in common than many care to admitt. Thank You!!!

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