TMA Challenges Chiropractors Rules Again

Chiropractors are trying to get around a court ruling and expand their scope of authority beyond what they are trained to do, TMA charges in a letter to Glenn Parker, executive director of the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Last year, an Austin state district judge ruled that a chiropractic license does not authorize chiropractors to perform manipulations under anesthesia (MUA) and needle electromyography (EMG) procedures. TMA sued in 2006 to block the chiropractic board's rules because, the association said, MUA and needle EMG constitute the clinical and legal practice of medicine.

Since then, the chiropractic board has proposed new rules governing chiropractors' treatment of their patients.

In TMA's letter, President Susan Rudd Bailey, MD, addresses section 75.17 of the rules and says the proposals are "a bad faith effort … to circumvent the court's final judgment …"  She added that "as if to completely disregard the prior litigation and court's ultimate ruling, the board is attempting to expand by rule the scope of chiropractic. This expansion is not permitted by the legislature, the courts, or the attorney general."

The letter does not mince words. For example, regarding the chiropractic board's proposal on "subluxation complex," the letter reminds Mr. Parker that "it is the state legislature, and not a limited number of members of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, that has been given the right and duty to define the practice of chiropractic in the state of Texas. The health and welfare of Texans is at risk when these few men and women try to impermissibly expand the scope of chiropractic, a piece at a time, at their board meetings. TMA, therefore, strongly recommends removing this amendment from the proposed rules."

Dr. Bailey's letter concludes that the proposed rules permit chiropractors "to diagnose and determine if a patient, with virtually any disease, condition, or abnormality of the body, may benefit from chiropractic care. A chiropractor is not permitted to diagnose virtually any condition, disease, or abnormality of the body, and make the determination of whether a person with various conditions, diseases, or abnormalities may safely undergo chiropractic treatment. A medical professional should be involved immediately whenever a chiropractor notes an 'unusual finding' that does not involve the biomechanics of the spine and musculoskeletal system. This is a public health issue."


Action, Jan. 4, 2010


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