Scope of Practice
Maintaining the Identity of Chiropractic as a Drug-Free Health Care Profession
William J. Rademacher, D.C. & Stephan J. Troyanovich, D.C.
Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic ~ October 31, 2016 ~ Pages 11-38
The genesis of the chiropractic profession occurred when a self-taught healer of the late nineteenth century, Daniel David Palmer, manually adjusted the upper dorsal spine of a partially deaf janitor restoring his sense of hearing. As the Founder intended, chiropractic has existed as a drug-free healthcare profession for better than 120 years. This is one of the characteristics of chiropractic that defines it as a separate and distinct entity amongst the healing arts.
The United States is currently awash in a crisis related to the over prescription of medications and the abuse of those prescription drugs. Focused upon the reduction of mechanical lesions of the spine (chiropractic subluxation), and without the use of drugs and surgery, the chiropractic profession has produced a robust quantity and quality of research that demonstrates the safety, clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and high level of patient satisfaction in select areas of healthcare.
Based upon current statistics regarding adverse drug events, prescription drug abuse and liability issues associated with treating patients with medications, adding prescriptive rights to the profession’s tool box will not likely improve either the safety or satisfaction with chiropractic care.
Adding prescriptive rights will increase costs to educate chiropractic students and will add to the costs of continuing education for practicing chiropractors. Additional costs to insure practitioners against the probability of increased litigation as a result of prescriptive rights will also add costs to practice, and, ultimately those costs will be passed along to the consuming public.
The only logical conclusion that can be reached based upon these facts is that chiropractic should remain a drug-free healing philosophy, science and art.
Key words: Chiropractic, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions, Prescription Drug Misuse, Philosophy, Patient Satisfaction, Treatment Outcome