ICA Files Suit in New Mexico Court of Appeals Seeking A Stay on Illegal State Chiropractic Board Actions

The Chiro.Org Blog

Acting on behalf of concerned members in New Mexico and out of concern for the integrity and credibility of the chiropractic profession at large, on December 21, 2011 the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) filed an extensive memorandum in support of a motion to stay what is being held to be illegal actions on the part of that state’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners. In its memorandum of explanation, ICA’s attorneys argued that it was important for the court to carefully consider the urgent issues of the letter of the law and the protection of both the public and chiropractic practitioners and prevent the “New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners from implementing its new rule establishing an advanced practice formulary to include dangerous drugs and drugs to be administered by injection…and implementing its new rules establishing a certain course of training to certify advanced practice chiropractic physicians to administer and prescribe dangerous drugs and drugs to be administered by injection” because such actions were outside their authority under the law.

On August 30, 2011, at an official rulemaking hearing and meeting, the New Mexico Chiropractic Board adopted new rules to greatly expand the chiropractic formulary to include certain dangerous drugs and drugs to be administered by injection that had not been approved by either the New Mexico Medical or Pharmacy Boards as specifically required by state law. At that same hearing, lawyers representing the State of New Mexico were very clear in their advice that the Board was acting outside their authority and should not proceed. The Chiropractic Board ignored those admonitions and acted to adopt a new formulary anyway.

ICA representatives were present at both the August and December Board meetings and, in concert with New Mexico DCs, urged the Board to act only within the rules established by statute but to no avail. At their meeting of December 13, 2011, the New Mexico Chiropractic Board denied all requests to stay the implementation of the new rules pending appeal. ICA received official documentation of the New Mexico Chiropractic Board’s official denial of a request to stay the controversial rules on January 5, 2012. Having exhausted all administrative remedies, ICA is seeking the protection of the courts in the face of the Board’s questionable actions.

ICA’s attorneys filed the extensive memorandum of December 21, 2011 to document the urgent need for a court-ordered stay to stop the inappropriate Board actions as the evidence shows that the New Mexico Chiropractic Board knowingly violated the terms of the law and citizens and practitioners alike are clearly at risk as a result. ICA has taken this extraordinary step to help prevent a serious unraveling of public confidence in the chiropractic profession and severe damage to the credibility of the chiropractic regulatory process in New Mexico. “The public must have absolute confidence that the process of licensing and regulating the practice of chiropractic in all states has been undertaken with complete honesty and meticulous care to obey not only the letter but the spirit of the law as established by state legislatures,” said ICA President Dr. Gary L. Walsemann. “Regrettably, this does not appear to be the case with the current New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners and action in the courts on ICA’s part was clearly the right thing to do.”

ICA’s extensive legal actions in New Mexico were funded through donations made by concerned individuals from across the nation through ICA’s unique on-line advocacy system, www.AdjustTheVote.org. Any individual wanting to contribute to ICA’s ongoing legal efforts in New Mexico can do so through the AdjustTheVote website.

Since its founding 86 years ago, the ICA has consistently held that chiropractic is and should remain a drugless science and practice. The chiropractic profession has likewise established a powerful consensus on the issue of chiropractic as a drugless science. The testing of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) does not include testing for the credentialing of the practice of medicine. The Chiropractic Paradigm developed by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and endorsed by every chiropractic organization in the United States identifies chiropractic practice as being drug-free. The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) expressly states: Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.” To further highlight this global consensus, the WFC, in its comprehensive chiropractic “Identity Consultation” agreed that patients are best “…managed principally by spinal adjustment, other manual treatments, exercise and patient education, without the use of drugs and surgery, enabling patients to avoid these wherever possible.

“The New Mexico Chiropractic Board, encouraged by a tiny minority within the profession and one or two colleges seeking an advantage in the marketplace, has undertaken to establish medical and pharmaceutical privileges for some doctors of chiropractic through a back door, the risks to the public notwithstanding,” said Dr. Walsemann. “These actions raise both ethical and legal questions and though the ethics of such behavior may not be readily addressed, the legal aspects can and will be dealt with through the courts.”

ICA has also filed a motion to combine its suit to stay the Chiropractic Board’s questionable actions with similar suits filed by New Mexico’s Attorney General on behalf of that state’s medical and pharmacy boards.

Working in partnership with individual members and allied organizations across the nation, ICA will continue to work to ensure that the integrity of the chiropractic regulatory process is protected and that the inappropriate actions of a few ill-advised and unchecked individuals will not do permanent damage to the profession at large or further place the public at risk.

Review our previous articles on this topic:

Is “Expanded Practice” our Pandora’s Box?
Chiro.Org Blog ~ September 13th, 2011

Point/Counterpoint: Seeking A Second Opinion on Expanded Chiropractic Practice
Chiro.Org Blog ~ June 5th, 2011

Best for the Profession or Best for the Public?
Chiro.Org Blog ~ June 5th, 2011

Are Chiropractors Protecting Patients From Medical Care?
Chiro.Org Blog ~ May 23, 2011

The Evidence-based Rap, or What’s Wrong With My Pain Meds?
Chiro.Org Blog ~ April 23, 2011

Just In Case You Don’t Believe Me…
Chiro.Org Blog ~ April 12, 2011

New Podcast Interview: Two College Presidents Discuss Prescription Rights for Chiropractors
Chiro.Org Blog ~ March 31st, 2011

For Those Who Wish To Be Medical Chiropractors — Look, Before You Leap
Chiro.Org Blog ~ March 13th, 2011

Majority of Alabama Chiropractors Favor Limited Prescription Rights
Chiro.Org Blog ~ February 18th, 2011

UPDATE: Texas Judge Finally Rules on Diagnosis Issue
Chiro.Org Blog ~ September 14, 2010

AMA’s “Contain and Eliminate” Tactics Are Alive and Well
Chiro.Org Blog ~ July 15th, 2010

A Constitutional Challenge to DCs Diagnosing – What This Means for Health Care
Chiro.Org Blog ~ April 27th, 2010

Live and Let Live?
Chiro.Org Blog ~ March 24th, 2010

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