Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Chiroquackery in the UK

Chiroquackery in the UK

In spite of widespread quackery among UK chiropractors, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) makes rare exceptions in really bad cases and takes disciplinary action. The problems noted in the Farthing case (below) are considered to be standard subluxation based wellness (*) practices. Such practices are widespread in the USA, Canada, and the UK. Chiropractic practice builders educate their clients to practice in this way, and for the most part, the profession does nothing about it. In this particular case the GCC decision notes those practices as problems. While this is commendable, why doesn't it do something about it in more cases? Was this case particularly embarrassing? I suspect that the GCC was acting more to protect its image than to protect consumers from chiroquackery.

(*) The United Chiropractic Association (UCA) blatantly states that it "is a UK based organisation for subluxation-based chiropractors, associates and students", and its Mission Statement describes a metaphysical, not a scientific, profession. In its UCA History section, it states that it "represent(s) the subluxation based wellness paradigm of chiropractic" and that it "now has over 150 members and is growing steadily".

If the GCC really wants to do something about cleaning up the profession in the UK, it can start by declaring war on the UCA, and disciplining all of its members.


The Farthing case:

Whilst treating Patient B between 4 July 2002 and 13 June 2001, you exerted undue influence on Patient B in that you:

(a) Provided advice which placed Patient B in a position where he felt unable not to comply with your recommendations;

(b) Misrepresented the gravity of Patient B's condition and the therapeutic effects of treatment;

(c) Misrepresented the gravity of his family's conditions and the therapeutic effects of treatment;

(d) Attempted to reinforce the need to attend a lengthy course of treatment through the use of mechanisms such as group lectures, pre-payment to reduce total treatment costs and misrepresenting the consequences of failing to have regular chiropractic care.


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