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Legal Battle

CF 009: With Dr. Tom Hollingsworth: The Case Against Chiropractic In Texas

We’ll be talking about any and every past attack on chiropractic in Texas and on our profession by the medical field heavyweights…..what’s at risk and why. In addition, we’ll be sharing some personal opinions, some facts, some research….and we’ll be discussing what you all can do to help if you are an active person that wants to pitch in.

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast where we talk about issues related to health, chiropractic, evidence, and research and how those things all fit into a comprehensive approach for treating different conditions. Thank you for taking time out of your day to give us a listen. I know your time is valuable and I will always try hard to fill our time with valuable content.

Right off the top today, I want to welcome a good friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Tom Hollingsworth originally from Brady, TX and now living in Corpus Christi, TX. Dr. Hollingsworth is a master of linguistics and he’s a master of the material when it comes to what we’ve been through and what we are going through currently. In fact, Tom has helped prepare the court drafts so he has intimate knowledge and it’s a special treat to have Dr. Hollingsworth here to walk us through it all.

Welcome to the Chiropractic Forward podcast Dr. Hollingsworth. We’re so glad to have you with us today…

Have you ever heard the song “Corpus Christi Bay” by Robert Earl Keen and is it indeed hard to stay sober on the Corpus Christi Bay?

Tell me a little about your background and your family.

We have both been highly active in the Texas Chiropractic Association over the years. Everyone fits a certain function for sure. What have been your functions in the past on the Statewide level?

With this being an evidence-based podcast, can you offer some thoughts on whether or not there is room in an evidence-based model for chiropractic philosophy to maintain any sort of footprint in it?

There is so much material here, I want you to know that you have free-reign to interrupt, stop me, correct me, and keep me on track here. I encourage any and all participation from you on this.

When Chiropractors start talking about the attack on chiropractic in texas and other attacks we’ve endured and are enduring, we can go on for hours. We are going to try to convey a very serious and meaningful message about it all right here today but without getting into a three hour conversation.

The unfortunate reality is that most do not know and, if they do, they normally lack any important details to truly place their knowledge in the correct context.

I believe that Dr. Hollingsworth will agree with me that, in our experience, lots of folks don’t know what’s going on with their profession….is that correct sir?

As a former board member of the Texas Chiropractic Association myself and a current member of the leadership statewide, we are intimately aware of many of the issues, both current and historically.

And I think, from the top here, it’s important to say that, even though Dr. Hollingsworth and myself are TCA members and leaders, our opinions may or may not represent the opinions of the TCA but we are NOT representing the TCA as we go through this podcast and in this capacity.

Anything you’d like to add to that disclaimer Dr. Hollingsworth?

We have all heard the stories of chiropractors being jailed for practicing. I remember a story from a documentary by Jeff Hayes called Doctored where a chiropractor is recalling how his father, who was also a chiropractor was in a bowling league. There was a medical doctor on the other team that refused to bowl against his father’s team simply because the team had a chiropractor on it.

Now, let’s run through the BIG ATTACK first. Folks, if you don’t know about Wilk vs. AMA, please do yourself, and all other chiropractors, a big favor and go check it out. To put it into a very brief blurb, basically, after 11 years of court proceedings, Dr. Chester Wilk and four other chiropractors, led by attorney George McAndrews, ultimately prevailed in proving the American Medical Association guilty of violating the Sherman anti-trust act. Meaning the AMA and several other medical institutions like the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals were found guilty of conspiring to eliminate chiropractic from the Earth. According to Chiro.org….”the suit claimed that the defendants had participated for years in an illegal conspiracy to destroy chiropractic. On August 24, 1987, after endless wrangling in the courts, U.S. District Court judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA and its officials were guilty, as charged, of attempting to eliminate the chiropractic profession. “

Does that about sum it up, Dr. Hollingsworth, and would you like to add to any of that?

Basically the AMA and others were proven guilty of the following acts against Chiropractic:

  • Encourage ethical complaints against doctors of chiropractic
  • Oppose chiropractic inroads into workmen’s comp
  • Oppose chiropractic inroads into health insurance and make it difficult for patients to get covered for chiropractic care
  • Oppose inroads into hospitals
  • Contain or eliminate Chiropractic schools
  • They conducted nationwide conferences on Chiropractic
  • Distributed anti-Chiropractic publications and propaganda
  • Helped other organizations prepare anti-chiropractic literature
  • Deemed it unethical for medical doctors to refer to, or accept referrals from, chiropractors.
  • And, they discouraged colleges, universities, and faculty from cooperating with chiropractic schools.

Can you believe that things have progressed to the point now that two of those organizations came out last year in support of Chiropractic for the treatment of acute and chronic and low back pain?

In referencing a blog of mine from November 11th, 2015 called Healthcare in Texas: The Battle Against a Monopoly. A True Story About David & Goliath,” I reminded myself of some more recent minor attacks. I’ll put the link in the show notes.

  • The Texas Medical Association attempted to remove Doctors of Chiropractic from the high school concussion oversight teams. They wanted to allow simple high school trainers but not chiropractors.
  • The same year, the TMA attempted to remove Chiropractors’ ability to perform physical exams on school bus drivers.
  • Same year, they tried to introduce legislation to remove our ability to perform high school exams on athletes. A function chiropractors have been performing for generations.

Now Dr. Hollingsworth, you’d think this would have put the battle to rest right? Can you go ahead and run through TMA #1 one for us please? The when, why, and what happened…

Before we get any further, how about we define Chiropractic. At least as far as the State of Texas is concerned, Tom.

I’d like to take just a second to direct everyone to an excellent video on YouTube that the Texas Chiropractic Association published about a year and a half ago concerning a lot of this. The link will be in the show notes but you can also find it by going to YouTube and searching the term “The Texas Chiropractic Defense From The Texas Medical Association A Timeline.” This ten minute video sums up what kind of constant attacks our profession is still enduring today.

So, we have Wilk vs. AMA that Chiropractic ultimately won, and we prevailed in the TMA #1 diagnosis case for the diagnosis issue…….now, surely, when the TBCE and the TCA triumphed in that one, that had to have killed any further attacks from the TMA right, Dr. Hollingsworth?

(Discuss VONT, Diagnosis #2, Sublux, and Neuro)

Tom, what is the current status on this case? It’s about to be go time right?

What kind of research is the TCA and TBCE team looking at using to bolster the case and why are we using these particular papers?

1.   MSK includes “associated” nerves

a. Concerning balance is Ex Parte Halsted

b. Careful to avoid claims toward entirety of nervous system (Hogs get slaughtered.)

2.   TMA depended greatly on UT Med School’s Leonard Cleary, PhD.’s deposition

a. Understandably supported TMA position MSK is not neuro

b. Heavily focused on structure considerations only in isolation from function

c. Ivory Tower challenged

i. by TBCE presenting Grays, and

ii. TCA presenting simpler TEA authors defining elements of muscle.

d. PRE-TRIAL appeal allowed for exam outside of MSK if it will lead to opinion of bio-mechanical condition of MSK.  So…

i. Neurotrophic effects on muscle

ii. Neurotrophic effects on bone  (Deposition Ex. 10)

3. Subluxation Complex

a. TBCE presented definitions of WHO, Dorland’s and compared them to TBCE’s. Can you expound on the different definitions for us please?

b. TCA presented Texts by Strang, Leach, King & Janig , and

i. AMA’s CPT definitions, 

ii. Bakris/Dickholtz NUCCA BP study

Now This is a paper we covered in podcast episode #7 but we also cited a couple others by AP Wong and by Yates, et. al. There’s no doubt we’re on solid ground here. 

c. TMA offered no witness qualified to opine on subluxation complex

i. However, a letter from them to TBCE when adding “subluxation” stated they preferred TBCE choosing the WHO definition (that includes “nerve”).

4. Vestibular-Ocular-Nystagmus Testing (VONT)

a. TMA offered a NeurOtologist (ENT subspecialty) and a PT

i. Argued training length (residency, etc.)

ii. Mostly Fair witness

iii. One key was distinguishing Vestib Apparatus from Vestib System

1. Had to get out of ear into processing centers

2. (Vestib Nuc and V-spinal tracts)

3. Attempt to utilize MD cultural authority on basic fact

4. Build on basic facts later.

iv. After hours of testimony from TMA’s vestibular experts, trial judge asked: “When are we going to hear about VONT?” 

Well, I suppose all we can do at this point is to continue to raise money from chiropractors that want to pitch in. We know that an appeals process is expensive. We also know that what happens in a state with over 5,000 chiropractors in it, usually tends to happen in other states down the line so it’s likely in every American chiropractor’s interest to get on board with this issue and contribute to its success.

If you would like to donate to this victory, I would direct you to the TCA since they are leading the way on this. Go to www.chirotexas.org/cdi

Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes. If you love what you hear, be sure to check out www.chiropracticforward.com. As this podcast builds, so will the website as we add more content, educational products, and a little further down the road, webinars, seminars, and speaking dates as they get added. Also, find our Facebook page where we’ll be sharing all kinds of good stuff from the shows and from our guests.

Reviews….folks, we need reviews over at the iTunes Chiropractic Forward page. That’s what tells iTunes that people are finding value in what we’re doing. We sure would appreciate it.

We cannot wait to connect again with you next week. From Creek Stone here in Amarillo, TX, home of the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

Show Note resources

  1. Bakris G. (2007). “Special chiropractic adjustment lowers blood pressure among hypertensive patients with misaligned C-1 vertebra.”   Retrieved February 7, 2018, from http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2007/20070314-atlas.html.
  2. Wong AP (2018). “Review: Beyond conventional therapies: Complementary and alternative medicine in the management of hypertension: An evidence-based review.” Pak J Pharm Sci 31(1): 237-244.
  3. Yates RG (1988). “Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial.” Manip Physical Ther 11(6): 484-488.
  4. https://www.chiro.org/Wilk/
  5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2616395
  6. https://www.amarillochiropractor.com/healthcare-in-texas-the-battle-against-a-monopoly-a-true-story-about-david-goliath-3/
  7. The Texas Chiropractic Defense From The Texas Medical Association A Timeline.
  8. https://youtu.be/XHGfAQwIqNo

 

Bibliography

Bakris G. (2007). “Special chiropractic adjustment lowers blood pressure among hypertensive patients with misaligned C-1 vertebra.”   Retrieved February 7, 2018, from http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2007/20070314-atlas.html.

Wong AP (2018). “Review: Beyond conventional therapies: Complementary and alternative medicine in the management of hypertension: An evidence-based review.” Pak J Pharm Sci 31(1): 237-244.

Yates RG (1988). “Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial.” Manip Physical Ther 11(6): 484-488.