Manitoba, Canada has become the focal point of a heated battle by the chiropractic profession to protect the rights of children to receive the benefits of chiropractic care. Over the past year several anti-chiropractic forces have started a false smear campaign to gain publicity by trying to say that chiropractic care may be dangerous. This flies in the face of all evidence showing that chiropractic has always been among the safest health care professions.
In spite of facts to the contrary the Canadian smear campaign has been effective and accomplished their first goal in getting the government of Manitoba to discontinue chiropractic coverage for children up to the age of 19. This move effectively forces many children away from a natural choice of chiropractic and toward drugs or surgery. In a statement dated May, 10, 2002, one of the world’s renowned chiropractic pediatric experts, Dr. Maxine McMullen Vice President of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and founder and president of the ICA Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics stated, “This decision is not based on science or good health care practice. Chiropractic care has been proven to be safe and effective for children and people of all ages. This decision is based in fear and not in fact. The world chiropractic community will mobilize to take those steps necessary to see that fairness and open access for all people prevail.”
Other chiropractic organizations have also begun to mobilize. In a release dated May, 8, 2002 Dr. Jeanne Ohm, Secretary of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association asked all their members to, “Please e-mail the Premier of Manitoba, the Honorable Gary Doer with a short, professional e-mail on behalf of chiropractic care for children. Take the moment now to turn this around. His address: Premier@leg.gov.mb.ca .
In the 1970’s the American Medical Association was sued for restraint of trade and antitrust activities. In that famous “Wilk vs. AMA suit”, the AMA lost, and had to publicly admit wrongdoing in their journals as well as cease any illegal and unlawful activity against chiropractic. Since then the AMA has been barred from the types of false smear campaigns in the US that have now taken place in Canada. The chiropractic community and the patients we serve are continuing to mobilize to reverse this situation. It is our belief that everyone should have open access to chiropractic care if that is the form of health care they choose.