Point/Counterpoint: Seeking A Second Opinion on Expanded Chiropractic Practice Part I;
A Prescription for Professional Disaster
SOURCE: Dynamic Chiropractic
By Gerard Clum, DC
Life Chiropractic College West
There has been a lot of recent traffic to our postings about Alabama  and New Mexico’s attempts to gain prescription rights. For that reason, we are featuring 2 articles, both pro and con on the topic of expanding chiropractic practice into the realm of medicine. We hope you will find the following 2 articles of interest.
The expansion of the scope of practice of chiropractors to prescribe drugs is an absolute non-starter for me. In recent weeks, this conversation has moved to center stage, as evidenced by activities in the states of New Mexico, South Carolina and Alabama, as well as at the biennial gathering of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC).
Legislation proposed to expand the authority of chiropractors in New Mexico to prescribe broadly failed; the South Carolina measure appears to be mired in committee; and the Alabama State Chiropractic Association voted down a proposal to seek such an expansion. The WFC, while presenting a forum on this issue, has not changed its policy that the practice of chiropractic is without drugs and surgery.
The battle lines are rather well-drawn and clear. One element within the profession seeks to alter the history, tradition, conceptualization, culture, laws and regulations under which we have existed throughout our entire existence to include prescription authority of various extents. This view is being opposed by members of the profession who object and perceive the very heart of our clinical approach being hijacked and transformed into the practice of medicine.
A recent legislative hearing in New Mexico did just that: it clarified the intent and extent of the drug lobby in chiropractic. In the past, whenever the question of prescription authority in chiropractic came up, it was always related to injected vitamins and nutritional support, as opposed to the common understanding of prescription medications associated with the practice of medicine.
In Santa Fe, N.M. on March 17, 2011, the veil was pulled back on that charade as representatives of the National University of Health Sciences and University of Western States joined members of the executive committee of the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners in seeking legislation that would allow the use of “primary care drugs.” Further, these representatives indicated that they were part of the solution for New Mexico’s primary care shortage with their willingness and self-perceived ability to treat patients with hypertension and diabetes, among other maladies. It is now clear and on the record that this is not about nutrition in any shape or form; this is about the practice of primary care medicine under the auspices of a chiropractic license. (more…)