April 17, 2014 International Chiropractors Association


Chiropractic Organizations Unite Behind Public Position on Chiropractic as a Drugless Approach to Health Care

November 21, 2013 -- In an historic and profoundly significant unanimous position statement, the more than 40 organizations that comprise The Chiropractic Summit have adopted a clear and concise public position on chiropractic science and practice as a drug-free approach to health care. At a meeting of the Summit organizations in Seattle, Washington on November 7, 2013, the Summit adopted the following statement:

The drug issue is a non-issue because no chiropractic organization in the Summit promotes the inclusion of prescription drug rights and all chiropractic organizations in the Summit support the drug-free approach to health care.

"This definitive and unequivocal position statement puts to rest any question as to position of all of the credible organizations within the chiropractic profession on the issue of drugs," said ICA President Dr. Michael S. McLean. "This united front will allow the world of chiropractic to move forward with a new focus on the essentials of chiropractic's unique approach to health and healing and stop the divisive and wasteful efforts required to address the drug agenda of a tiny sliver of the profession."

For nearly a century the ICA has advocated clear lines of distinction between the health care professions and stood for a drugless, non-surgical national definition of chiropractic. Unique among chiropractic organizations, ICA has maintained a no-compromise policy on the issue of drugs in chiropractic and has acted on a wide range of fronts, legislative, legal and in the media, to preserve this unique and highly positive aspect of chiropractic.

ICA has been outspoken about all professions being obliged to qualify to perform any service at the highest standard of education and testing. It is on this basis, for example, that ICA has challenged the physical therapy profession's desire to expand their scope in numerous states to include spinal manipulation, with a less than adequate level of education. The authority to prescribe and administer medications has traditionally been understood under the law as the practice of medicine.

ICA holds that the public is entitled to one truly drug-free system of health care and doctors of chiropractic are fully trained and qualified to fill that role with proven clinical and cost effectiveness. For more than a century, the marketplace has sustained and supported chiropractic on the basis of its unique, drugless approach to health and healing. This is especially crucial at a time when our society at-large is recognizing the alarming complexities, costs and complications of a drug-based approach to treatment and the trend is strongly in the direction of a minimalist approach regarding drugs, and with good reason.

"The unanimously adopted Summit statement has stopped any erosion of chiropractic's positive, clear identity from the issue of drugs and established a firm, positive foundation on which powerful new growth for our profession can be anchored," said Dr. McLean. "ICA is proud of its historic position on drugs and excited that the vital center of the profession, as represented by the Summit, has now come together with us. It is the right thing to do for the chiropractic practitioner, patient and for our national health care system."

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