No harm in warning about risk

Published: 2010-07-11 17:00:45
Author: Preston Long and J. William Kinsinger | New Haven Register | April 6, 2010

THE state Board of Chiropractic Examiners has voted 4-1 — four chiropractors to one public representative — not to warn patients that stroke is a rare, proven complication of chiropractic neck manipulation.

The risk has been documented in scientific literature for the past 80 years, as well as in the autopsy findings of coroners and warned about by neurologists and medical experts around the world.

The fact that hearings took place at all is a tribute to the “stroke ladies,” as one chiropractor derisively called them, led by Janet Levy and her group, Victims of Chiropractic Abuse.

The board was the jury hearing evidence, yet it in fact was on trial itself. By its questions and tactics — starting with listening to the Connecticut Chiropractic Association trying to get rid of the one public member of the board before the hearings even started and rejecting on a technicality the only chiropractor scheduled to provide testimony on behalf of the victims — the board showed its complete failure to act in the best interests of patients.

State Sen. Leonard A. Fasano, R-North Haven, testified with simplicity and courage, clearly willing to break the political bowing to chiropractors. He gave notice to the board that there will be a legislated warning. If he succeeds, the impact will extend to every state and will be a legal and political landmark.

The state Board of Medical Examiners also sided with the victims. While chiropractic witnesses played word games to suggest neck manipulation was “associated” with strokes but does not “cause” strokes, the medical doctors stated it clearly: “There is compelling circumstantial evidence.”

Yet, the chiropractic board relied entirely on a single statistical study in which no medical or chiropractic chart was examined. This is utterly amazing.

Full story