Live and Let Live?

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   A Chiro.Org Editorial ~ 3–24–2010

By Frank M. Painter, D.C.

Here's a question I don't have an answer for:

Do chiropractors need to adjust people while the patient
is under anesthesia (a.k.a MUA)?

I have no experience to guide me. I have never met a patient whose muscle spasm (or spinal "fixation") was so great that I was not able to adjust them. Of course, that doesn't mean that they might not be out there somewhere. I can only assume that's why someone came up with the idea of MUA in the first place. Until now this never seemed relevant to me, and I didn't pay attention to the evolution of this practice.

What I do know is that organized medicine is in a huge uproar about MUA.

A March 22 posting on the AMA-News WEBSITE [1] reports on new MUA guidelines adopted in February by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the response of the medical establishment.

In early February, I reported on a similar story in Texas [2] because of a unique twist: Besides resisting chiropractor's right to provide MUA, the TMA (Texas Medical Association) decided to challenge Texas chiropractor’s “right” to diagnose.

Now, them's fighting words! This posting generated a lot of responses, and was the most-read posting for February. The Texas Chiropractic Association Web Site recently posted these comments:

Judge Yelenosky, a Texas juror stated:   "granted in part as to the Chiropractic Board's use of the word 'diagnosis' in its rule. However, the court reserves judgment regarding 'diagnosis' as it relates to scope of practice." Says the judge, "Turning to the Board's use of the word 'diagnosis' in its rules, the statutory language does not preclude it. There is no statutory definition of the word, and its ordinary meaning is the identification of the nature or cause of a condition, which is not different substantially from 'evaluation' or 'analysis' (the terms found in legislation that defines the practice of chiropractic in Texas). The issue is not the word, but the scope of practice -- diagnosis of what and for what purpose."   Says Judge Yelenosky, "I am reserving judgment on TMA and TMB's claim that construing the statute to permit particular rules of diagnosis would impermissibly allow the TBCE to authorize the practice of medicine.   Expert testimony is pertinent to that question." [3]

Well, all I can say is that MUA has opened up quite the can-o-worms in Texas and California. I still don't have a strong feeling about MUA, but I do now have mixed feelings about the uproar it's generating, and I ask myself…is this a fight worth fighting? I'd love to hear from doctors who have trained to provide this service.

Finally, this whole over-reaction on the part of Organized Medicine makes no sense. Chiropractors are not putting their patient under anesthesia. This is done in a Hospital by a medical anesthesiologist, so IN FACT, MUA is generating additional income for medical providers. In short, this should help to form more bonds between Chiropractic and Medicine. Is it possible THAT fact is the real reason the AMA opposes MUA?


  1. California Physicians Object to Expanded Scope for Chiropractors
    AMA-News ~ March 22, 2010

  2. Organized Medicine Attempts To Deny Chiropractors Right To Diagnose in Texas
    Chiro.Org Blog ~ February 4th, 2010

  3. Follow-up News about the Court Case
    Texas Chiropractic Association Web Site posting


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