Articles by JCS

Court of Public Opinion

 

The Responsibility for Failure

 “… the ultimate objective of the AMA, theoretically,

is the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.”

Robert Youngerman, attorney for the AMA’s Department of Investigation[1]

In the Court of Public Opinion:

Chiropractors v. the Medical Profession

 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury:

You have read a lengthy discourse on the war against the chiropractic profession suffered at the hands of the American Medical Association. It has been a voluminous story covering many topics involving many people, so please bear with me now as I summarize the facts so that you can come to a just and fair conclusion that the AMA is guilty of its attempted assassination of the chiropractic profession, guilty of fomenting unwarranted public skepticism, and guilty of impugning the reputations of thousands of decent, hard-working chiropractors.

First of all, you may have been surprised to learn that the art of spinal manipulation goes back over 3,000 years BC to the great Egyptian doctor, Imhotep, who wrote of this ageless healing art. You learned of the medieval European bonesetters, one of whom, Sir Herbert Atkinson Barker, was knighted by the King George of England. You learned of the early bonesetters like the families of Sweets, Ortmans, and Tieszens who immigrated to the United States long before AT Still began osteopathy or DD Palmer began chiropractic.

You also read how the AMA fought against all other health professions, starting with the homeopaths, naturopaths, the original osteopaths, chiropractors, and later dentists, optometrists, and even registered nurses. The modus operandi was always the same—public ridicule in the media, and then professional demonization, isolation, and boycott.

You learned of Morris Fishbein, the Medical Mussolini, who terrorized these alternative healthcare professions for no reason other than to create a medical monopoly. He was the voice and face of political medicine for a quarter of a century, and his strategy and tactics have lived on past his death to impugn and harass the good men and women who sought to help patients without drugs or surgery. That was, in effect, the only crime of these alternative doctors—to get patients well naturally.

You learned how Roger Throckmorton, H. Doyl Taylor, and Joseph A. Sabatier formed the Committee on Quackery whose main goal was “the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession” and how it misinformed the public with spin doctors like Ann Landers and even Ronald Reagan.

You read the evidence presented by George McAndrews during the Wilk trial that led the judge to find the AMA guilty.  Despite this legal victory, you learned how the AMA misinformers worked to thwart progress in the back pain treatments, most notably how it killed the AHCPR guideline #14 on acute low back pain in adults. You learned, regrettably, how the North American Spine Society attacked the AHCPR on Capitol Hill to kill this noteworthy study because it did not endorse spinal surgery. It was a prime example how Morris Fishbein and his dirty tricks are still alive in political medicine.

You read of the extensive research done by both the AHCPR and New Zealand committees that thoroughly studied back pain treatments and chiropractic only to conclude that chiropractic care was appropriate, safe, effective, and should be embraced by the mainstream health care system.

More so, you have learned of the new emerging research that back surgeries are mostly unnecessary and ineffective as the medical researchers themselves have determined. You heard the editors of TheBACKLetter tell us, “The world of spinal medicine, unfortunately, is producing patients with failed back surgery syndrome at an alarming rate.”

You have seen that many experts like Pran Manga, Richard Deyo, Gordon Waddell, Pre Freitag, Irwin Hendryson, and Paul Goodley, to name but a few medical men who testified that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for back pain and Type M disorders.

You have also learned how chiropractic care may help Type O, organic and visceral problems like angina via spinovisceral reflexes from Scott Haldeman and John Mennell; Irwin Korr and Virgil Strang taught us how spinal subluxations may impair the homeostasis of the body, and Heidi Haavik-Taylor and Bernadette Murphy showed us that a chiropractic adjustment is equivalent to rebooting the brain’s circuitry. Most interesting, we learned that back pain may even cause the brain to degenerate as A. Vania Apkarian’s research now proves. Indeed, DD Palmer was correct when he said chiropractic was ahead of its time.

Without a doubt, the story of chiropractic from persecution to vindication has been a long and bumpy road, although a very interesting tale. Certainly chiropractors have been victimized as exemplified by the thousands who were arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and segregated by political medicine. But these brave chiropractic warriors were not the only victims of this medical war.

The public has also been victimized by the friendly fire in this medical war. Thousands, if not millions, of Americans and people around the world have suffered in a pandemic of pain that was, for the most part, preventable if the medical profession had not promoted a campaign to “contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.” The research studies cannot be clearer that chiropractic stands at the top of spinal treatments as Anthony Rosner, PhD, testified before The Institute of Medicine: “Today, we can argue that chiropractic care, at least for back pain, appears to have vaulted from last to first place as a treatment option.”[2]

This ordeal of the chiropractic profession has been a treacherous road less traveled by thick-skinned and strong-willed chiropractors who have endured the arrests, boycott, segregation that were unknown to most Americans and, most of all, the intense medical propaganda to defame the reputations of chiropractors. You have learned that the history of the medical profession is a story that has many dark chapters with sinister players who want you to think they are your health guardians when, in fact, they were also villains to chiropractors as well as a danger to your health.

This untold story of chiropractic from persecution to vindication has been stranger than fiction. Indeed, if you had not heard the preceding evidence, you would not believe this untold story; a story that begs to be told.

Certainly the turning point in this dark episode of America history was the Wilk v. AMA federal antitrust trial when a few brave chiropractors sued the AMA and ten co-conspirators, and proved victorious after a 14-year battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proverbial chiropractic David defeated the medical Goliath, but this near-Biblical conflict remains the best story never told to the American public, and a story that could best be told by the victims themselves, chiropractors.

The Medical Reich

The Wilk v. AMA trial was not simply an antitrust case where one competitor tried to corner the market; it was a blitzkrieg of cultural, economic, and political might by the AMA to destroy the chiropractic profession completely.  This observation was not lost on William Trever, the author of the exposé, “in the Public Interest,” who spoke on the illicit power of political medicine.

Behind the closed, guarded doors of the AMA headquarters there is an elite and secretive group of men who have worked with the diligence, tenacity, shrewdness and deceit of the KGB, Gestapo and the CIA combined.[3]

       Long before the advent of their Committee on Quackery and the Wilk trial decision, the seeds of the medical war sown by Morris Fishbein’s mercenary AMA that writer Milton Mayor in 1949 prophetically dubbed as “…the most terrifying trade association on earth.”[4] Little did he know the true nature of the AMA would turn more than just terrifying, its intent was to inflict a mortal wound on the entire chiropractic profession. In the very words of the AMA executive Youngerman, “the ultimate objective of the AMA, theoretically, is the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.”[5]

These are scary words, my friends, which reveal a mindset that America and the world had seen once before during World War II.

It may be difficult from some of you to think of your friendly neighborhood medical doctor as one who would harbor such awful sentiments. You are taught to give him or her respect as a learned professional who is the so-called “guardian of your health.” While it certainly is true the medical profession has helped many of us, but there is another side of these medical profession that is just as strong, if not stronger; a dark side that this trial has exposed to you probably for the first time, but one that the chiropractic profession has seen bear its teeth for over a century.

The evidence is compelling that the AMA and its members conspired to destroy the chiropractic profession whose only crime was that they got patients well without drugs or surgery. Never did you hear any patients come forth complaining about their chiropractic treatments. During the Wilk trials, never did the AMA find just one patient to testify against their chiropractor. In fact, as you learned, many medical doctors actually testified in behalf of the chiropractic plaintiffs with the highest level of proof–their own admissions against interest, as attorneys call these testimonies that support the opposition’s side.

Let me compare this medical war with another war that shocked the world, especially for those of us with German ancestry. Indeed, Germany has given the world many notables like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Benz, Rudolf Diesel, Marlene Dietrich, and Albert Einstein, to name but a few. The German culture is refined, its food and drink are delicious, and the German people are bright and hospitable.

But Germany also brought to the world Adolph Hitler and his gang of Nazis that shook western civilization to its core of sensibility with the most barbaric atrocities ever seen. The acts of cruelty in World War II by the German Nazis were well documented in the media–no one can ever forget the pictures of death camps responsible for millions of tortured and murdered innocents.

While certainly not as horrendous as the Nazis since nothing could ever truly compare, the AMA’s atrocities in the medical war, however, stemmed from the same devious mindset of men filled with same hate and bigotry toward chiropractors. Remarkably, the AMA had the same intent as the Nazi’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” to eliminate another group of innocent people as they admitted themselves in testimony.

According to court records, the AMA’s attorney Roger Throckmorton clearly spelled out his equivalence to the Final Solution in his Iowa Plan, “What Medicine Should Do about the Chiropractic Menace.”[6] The similarity is shocking—the Jews were scapegoats to the Nazis just as chiropractors were demonized by the AMA.

The more the AMA executives spoke, the more their testimonies appeared eerily reminiscent of the same mindset used by the German Nazis.  Let me remind the jury of the historical facts in this case because it was this despicable attitude that led to this medical war. Simply replace the word “Jew” for “chiropractic” and you can understand the mindset of these medical men initially led by Morris Fishbein and then by H. Doyl Taylor, Roger Throckmorton, Joseph A. Sabatier, Robert Youngerman, and their Department of Investigation and Committee on Quackery. 

Quoting from their own words, let me show you their frightening prejudice that was bitterly strong in content. In 1962, the AMA Committee on Quackery issued a call to arms–its Iowa Plan–to organize medicine against the “menace of chiropractic”[7]  and demanded the entire medical community “undertake a positive program of containment” so that the “chiropractic menace will die a natural but somewhat undramatic death.[8] (emphasis added)

In 1963, Robert Youngerman, a Department of Investigation lawyer of the AMA, reported “that the ultimate objective of the AMA theoretically, is the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.”[9]  

Tell me: does this sound like a scientific man seeking the truth about health care? Of course not; it speaks of a medical bigot who wants to eliminate a competitor at all costs.

Youngerman described in a memo the same demagoguery that the Nazis used to demonize the Jews when he wrote that MDs should be “dedicated to the total elimination” of chiropractic. He wrote that chiropractors “…present a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of the public, and it would seem that as guardians of our nation’s health, doctors of medicine should be dedicated to the total elimination of any such unscientific cult. [10]

Youngerman likened chiropractors to “rabid dogs and killers [11] and fomented medical propaganda among themselves and the public despite the lack of proof. In spite of this horrendous language, Youngerman would still have you believe “The public does and should look to the medical profession for unbiased and authoritative information on this subject.” What he wanted was for every honest American to embrace his hatred, his bigotry, and his lies. Sadly, too many did, just as many good Germans embraced the Nazi hatred.

Many of the Nazi’s policies paralleled those of the AMA toward chiropractors. Certainly the Nazis did not want any “race defilement” by the Jews with Aryans and the American medical corps had the same intent of Principle 3 of the Medical Ethics of the AMA that stated any MD could not associate with chiropractors for fear of reprisal, too[12].

Clearly the Committee on Quackery played its “race” card against chiropractors when they used the same “race defilement” argument in terms of “patient care.” With its Principle 3 the AMA threatened their own members with, in effect, professional “sterilization” by public condemnation if caught enjoined with chiropractors for the betterment of patients. Regrettably, this fear of retribution lingers on today among many good-willed MDs who remain afraid to refer to chiropractors.

The AMA’s Principle 3 was similar to the 1934 Civil Servant Oath demanded of Germans to swear loyalty to Adolf Hitler rather than to their nation or their constitution, consequently democratic legal rights were abridged by the Nazi agenda. Members of the AMA had to swear to the obvious bigotry aimed at chiropractors and all CAM providers who did not conform to allopathy medicine, regardless if these alternative methods were effective or not. Just as it was political suicide by Germans not to take the Civil Servant Oath in 1934, it was political and economic death for MDs not to abide by Principle 3 in 1963.

“Deutschland Ober Alles” became the war cry of Nazi Germany and “AMA Ober Alles” became the war cry of political medicine and the resulting carnage of chiropractic. Just as the Nazis demonized the Jews for Germany’s woes, the same mindset prevailed in the AMA. To the Committee on Quackery, chiropractors were not colleagues in the fight against pain and suffering, but they were enemies to be eliminated by any means. Just as any MD might prescribe an antibiotic to kill a germ without giving it a second thought, this Committee tried to wipe out chiropractors with the same indifference.

Indeed, if Fishbein and Sabatier were living in Germany at that time, there is no telling how far they would have gone–perhaps chiropractors would have found themselves in the same death camps with the Jews. Ironically, since Morris Fishbein was Jewish himself, he most likely would have been a victim of the same bigotry he held toward chiropractors.

What difference would it make to the AMA if a minority like chiropractic was deprived of its constitutional rights, just as Germans rationalized the deprivation of human rights to Jews? The AMA taught its members and students that chiropractors were responsible for their misery as a threat to their financial fortunes; hate and power would replace their Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” to their fellow healers who got people well the wrong way without drugs or surgery.

The carnage left by this Iowa Plan resulted in a “lengthy, systematic, successful, and unlawful boycott”[13] described by the judge to eliminate the profession of chiropractic has never been properly acknowledged. Judge Getzendanner admitted in her Opinion that “The AMA has never made any attempt to publicly repair the damage the boycott did to chiropractors’ reputations.”[14]

Nor has restitution been paid to the 12,000 chiropractors who were prosecuted 15,000 times or the 3,300 who were unfairly imprisoned in the first half of the twentieth century. The fear of imprisonment was not that long ago when E.J. Nosser was the last chiropractor in the United States to go to jail in 1975 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Medical tyranny continues to this day when chiropractors are omitted from hospitals, limited by insurance, and ignored by the media.

This atrocity does not include the thousands of chiropractors who surrendered in the medical war, those who were spiritually broken, physically beaten, or financially defeated and decided to quit the fight. These MIAs were not counted among the final count of the victims of the medical war.

Sadly this landmark Wilk decision went without much fanfare in the media and, in effect, some believe it may have actually stiffened medical opposition similar to what the South experienced after the Civil War when forced racial desegregation during Reconstruction caused underground resistance from the Ku Klux Klan.

To this day the medical profession cannot accept the reality that the chiropractic methods for the epidemic of back pain have been proven more effective than most medical treatments. The medical experts themselves testified that chiropractors are better trained, more effective, less costly, and get higher patient satisfaction rates than anyone else. Medical research in workers’ compensation cases[15],[16] revealed chiropractic care had a 2 to 1 superiority rate in getting injured workers back to work, and Dr. Pre Freitag also mentioned the same 2 to 1 superiority rate in hospital care that used chiropractors.[17]

You have heard the evidence from the experts who have called for restraint on back surgeries and recommended chiropractic care. Pran Manga, PhD, Ontario (Canada) health economist, told us: “There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management.”[18] He was just one of many who now realize those damn chiropractors were right all along.

Still the medical profession cannot accept this reality just as the Nazis could not accept the Jewish citizens of Germany were upstanding citizens who made many contributions to their society as the arts and sciences clearly show. “Don’t confuse us with the facts” is the motto of the AMA when it comes to chiropractic care. The propaganda of half-truths and bold lies from spin doctors were more important to maintain its monopoly than to admit the truth to the public.

The federal court’s decision did not repair the damage to the medical-chiropractic relationship or foster integration of practitioners of chiropractic into the medical mainstream as one would hope. Judge Getzendanner herself wrote that she would not preside over a shotgun wedding between the professions. “Certainly no judge should perform that ceremony.”[19] Even after she declared the end of a national boycott designed to segregate from working in public hospitals, her decision has been ignored by the majority of MDs and hospitals.

Despite the atrocities in the medical war, none of the guilty AMA executives went to jail, no public apology was made to the chiropractors, and no admission of guilt was offered to the public or press.  Even the AMA’s lead attorney, Kirk B. Johnson inexplicably denied the AMA’s complicity and disregarded the court’s decision when he wrote, “Therefore, the decision will have little or no impact on patients and their physicians.”[20] Indeed, it will have a negative impact upon patients suffering needlessly as more unnecessary spine surgeries are committed on unsuspecting patients.

The AMA gave meager concessions after the Wilk trial when it issued an explanation to its own members published in its Journal of the AMA stating it was now ethical to associate with practitioners of chiropractic. Although Principle 3 was finally revoked, it had left indelible scars on the minds of its own members as well as upon its victims, the public, that continue to this day.

Do you realize what this medical boycott possibly means to you? If you or a member of your family were injured today in a car accident, for example, and taken to a public hospital, even if you asked for your chiropractor to come treat you, and even though he or she is licensed by the state government, and even though you are in a public hospital paid by our public taxes, your favorite chiropractor is still barred from entering that hospital to treat you. Only the local medical society dictates who practices in that public facility and most keep all competition out to maintain their stronghold. In spite of the Wilk trial ruling, this boycott is still virtually in effect with very few hospitals that allow chiropractors on staff. There is just too much pride, prejudice, and money at stake to give patients a freedom of choice in their own healthcare matters.

To those of you who have never been to a chiropractor or to those who don’t believe in chiropractic care, the consequences of the medical war on chiropractors may appear insignificant. Some may even have an air of complete indifference such as those who “wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one,” as one person in the Oklahoma poll stated.[21] They may not understand the overall significance of this war of persecution to “contain and eliminate” the chiropractic profession, just as the Aryan citizens of Germany overlooked the persecution of minorities among its own population.

Indeed, the Nazi persecution of Jews and other non-Aryans is similar to the AMA’s persecution of chiropractors, the original osteopaths, homeopaths, and naturopaths, to name a few of the health care minorities who were subjected to  Morris Fishbein’s campaign to eliminate all forms of competition to his AMA, Inc. His tactic was always the same—ridicule and boycott.

Fishbein had no problem attacking any non-allopathic doctor just as the Nazis who exterminated non-Jewish victims, such as Slavs, ethnic Poles, ethnic Yugoslavs, Soviet POWs, Romani people, disabled and mentally ill, homosexuals, the political left, Freemasons, and even Jehovah's Witnesses.

This man, Morris Fishbein, we learned was also known as the Medical Mussolini by his contemporaries and headed the AMA for 25 years. He was not shy or coy about his intentions to eliminate his opponents or steal their effective methods. He wrote openly of his evil intention: “Scientific medicine absorbs from them that which is good, if there is any good, and then they die.”[22] Many alternative practitioners did die in the medical war; many more were left gravely wounded or buried altogether. As the AMA’s Committee on Quackery executives testified, their goal was to watch them “wither on the vine” and the “chiropractic menace will die a natural but somewhat undramatic death.[23]  

Does this sound remotely similar to the kind-hearted Marcus Welby character some of you grew up watching on TV? As we have learned, there is a great divide between the mean-spirited men at the AMA and the many beloved field doctors who we all know. Despite the imagery of the local MD, the fact is the AMA is, indeed, the most terrifying trade association on earth as we’ve seen too many times throughout this trial.

We have shown this bigotry still lingers on today whenever someone disparages chiropractors when they say, “I don’t believe in chiropractors,” or “it’s an unscientific cult.”Once again, we hear Morris Fishbein speaking from the grave. Clearly these are not facts coming from rational scientific or academic minds, but they are likened to the same bigoted mindset that led Germans to exterminate Jews. It is troubling to understand such an anti-Semitic mindset, just as it is unfeasible for Americans to fathom how the so-called guardians of health could persecute innocent chiropractors whose crime was simply getting sick people well without drugs or surgery.

The Wilk antitrust trial evidence unmistakably showed the tactics, language, and attitudes of the AMA leadership that revealed the shocking truth about the medical ignorance of chiropractic. Wasn’t it profoundly interesting when asked to swear to tell the truth in the witness box, the medical executives could not prove their allegations against chiropractic?

We saw this bigotry during the New Zealand Inquiry on Chiropractic when the MDs down under were asked to prove their accusations, they also could not. When they testified that chiropractic was “absurd” and an “unscientific cult,” the evidence proved just the opposite. All of these medical men were caught in their lies that they had repeated so often among themselves that they actually began to believe them despite the complete lack of proof. These masters of deception had even deceived themselves.

Since the spin doctors can no long say chiropractic is unscientific or absurd, now they have again attacked it as dangerous. You heard that Eduard Ernst from Great Britain wrote “Deaths After Chiropractic” in a sensational attempt to frighten readers, but his paper accounted for only 26 deaths over 76 years, which is 0.34 deaths per year. Compared to the 250,000 the medical profession kills annually, this Ernst paper is ridiculous, but typical of the medical spin doctors.

In fact, as you heard in evidence, many medical witnesses’ testimonies were the “admissions against interest” that made the judge remark how these medical-defendants’ witnesses–both practitioners and researchers–were actually testifying in behalf of the chiropractic-plaintiffs. Yes, you heard the testimonies of honest MDs who knew that chiropractic helped patients and told the court these truths. Just as not all Germans were Nazis, not all MDs toed the line of the evil men in the AMA. They were the “flowers in the desert” of medical depravity.

Let me pause for a moment to reflect upon these shocking events.

It is impossible to understand how such a mindset works to deceive an entire nation of Americans to trust a profession supposedly dedicated to saving lives that in reality could have as its main goal the total elimination of a competitor that posed no real threat to patients, but realistically did pose a financial threat to MDs. Has the medical mindset become so jaded that they are willing to “eliminate” chiropractors merely to make more money?

It is incomprehensible how any American knowingly would place his or her life and health in the hands of these medical Nazis. Indeed, considering these dangerous and illegal attitudes in the AMA, Caveat emptor (“Let the Buyer Beware”) is the warning everyone should have about medical care. This is a frightening accusation, but one that can be supported by the facts in this case.

Indeed, how can you trust a profession who puts its own profit above your life, health, and well-being? How can you be certain that diagnostic test or that drug treatment or that back surgery is best for you? If your MD is unwilling to refer you to a chiropractor when research proves it best, what else is he unwilling to do that might help your pain and suffering? At this point, medical care is political, not scientific; it is barbaric, not humanitarian.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, in this court of public opinion, the facts are clear–the AMA was found guilty in a federal court of law for a “lengthy, systematic, successful, and unlawful boycott”[24] described by the judge to eliminate the profession of chiropractic. Millions of patients were harmed and thousands of chiropractors’ reputations were damaged by this medical Gestapo as one author, William Trever, aka, Sore Throat, described the AMA’s Committee on Quackery.

This medical war was a crime against humanity that has never been properly exposed in the public media and has led to a worldwide skepticism that is unwarranted and despicable–all stemming from an unapologetic, self-serving medical profession.

Although thirty years too late, it is now time to understand the impact this medical war has had upon the current healthcare crisis. Just as every German was affected by the Nazis, so was every American affected by this war on chiropractic. Regrettably, few people have ever reflected upon the damage done to chiropractors who suffered from this war or the eventual damaged upon the American society who stood by as they too were victimized by a medical profession hell-bent on total domination at all costs to patients who were denied the best of spinal care offered by chiropractors.

Indeed, there has never been any restitution paid by the AMA for the damage it has done to the chiropractic profession or to the millions of Americans who underwent unnecessary and ineffective back surgery. What would you say to a victim of failed back surgery who never needed it, was lied to about chiropractic care as an alternative, and now lives in chronic pain for the rest of his or her life? What would you say to them?

How far from the truth has the medical profession wandered when they ignored the obvious benefits of the ageless art of spinal manipulation, and stooped to such low levels of morality to call for the elimination of chiropractors as they knowingly predated upon unsuspecting victims?

At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, the judges agonized over a similar dilemma—who was responsible for the atrocities of the Third Reich? The Nazi Party, of course, was mainly responsible, but where should they draw the line? Just as the political leaders, government officials, and judges were guilty of complicity, so too were the German people who knew this persecution was happening and who profited by taking over the business of the Jews who were sent to prisons. The entire German people bore the “responsibility for failure” of the once-proud German nation.

The German defense attorneys portrayed the responsibility for this failure as acts done by a handful of Nazi extremists; they insisted not by an entire nation that did not know what was happening. Yet even good Germans said nothing as they profited by the expropriation of the Jewish businesses that were closed. No one complained when Germans appropriated the homes once owned by the Jews.

Perhaps the same can be said of the general medical physician today who may not be a loyal member of the AMA but who shares the lingering bigotry toward chiropractors by refusing to refer appropriate cases to chiropractors for care and who still considers chiropractors to be “quacks.” Just as anti-Semitism lingers on, so does the bias against chiropractors for those MDs who still do not refer to chiropractors.

What can be said of the spine surgeons who know the research cannot support the vast quantities of spine fusions done today? Experts tell say that the disc theory is dead, but unethical surgeons still use disc abnormalities seen on an MRI image as selling points to scare unsuspecting patients. Surgical experimentation still exists, just as we once saw in the death camps as with Drs. Josef Mengele and Eduard Wirths who practiced at Auschwitz.

You have heard evidence from Dr. Richard Deyo, a renowned spine researcher, who said: “People say, ‘I’m not going to put up with it,’ and we in the medical profession have turned to ever more aggressive medication, narcotic medication, and more invasive surgery.”[25]

Just when will the medical experimentation stop? Just who is responsible for this exploitation of patients? Where does the responsibility for these failures rest?

Of course, it rests with not only the surgeons, but with the primary care providers who send patients to surgeons without trying chiropractors first as the guidelines recommend. It also rests with MRI owners, the hospitals, the surgical device manufacturers, and even the insurance companies who profit by these expensive and mostly ineffective surgeries by charging higher premiums.  This is a $100 billion industry that the medical cartel has no wish to lose to chiropractors or anyone else who might help patients get well cheaply without drugs, shots, or surgery.

Indeed, just as all of Germany was responsible for the atrocities done by the Nazis, the AMA and its entire membership is responsible for the many unnecessary and ineffective surgeries that are done today but ignored by those who have expropriated what should rightfully belong to chiropractors. When only six percent of chiropractors have hospital privileges, it is obvious the medical society has little intention to integrate.

Indeed, this shameful conduct of the AMA remains a dark chapter in medical history, one that clearly needs more light shined upon it for people to understand the true basis of today’s skepticism of chiropractors. Few in the public are aware of the media’s role to ignore the medical propaganda or the extent of dirty tricks unleashed by the AMA’s spin doctors to undermine the chiropractic profession. You read Ann Lander’s columns defaming chiropractors and you learned that Ronald Reagan and his Operation Coffee Cup was paid by the AMA to block the original Medicare/Medicaid legislation. Just imagine the millions of seniors and poor people who would be suffering terribly if these safety nets had been defeated by the AMA.

This lengthy antitrust trial exposed the greedy underbelly of political medicine—the vicious Committee on Quackery Gestapo-styled goon squad with its intolerant attitudes; the glaring lack of expertise of medical doctors for back problems, the damage done to both chiropractors’ images and income, and the mismanagement of the public’s health is now revealed in a healthcare crisis unseen before. 

Instead of protecting patient safety as it contended, the real motive behind the AMA’s boycott was simply power and money. Since many medical professionals knew chiropractic care was superior to drugs, shots, and surgery, they were the ones who gave inferior patient care, not chiropractors. As Dr. Rosner indicated, chiropractic care now stands at the top of the heap in spinal care.

Yet the AMA was willing to boycott these effective practitioners, they were willing to lie to their patients about the supposed dangers of chiropractic, and they were willing to expose their patients to drugs and surgery that were inherently more dangerous, less effective, more disabling, and very expensive.

The evidence has shown that Fishbein’s strategy did work well enough to make his AMA incredibly wealthy and powerful subsidized by dirty money initially from the tobacco industry and now by the drug companies as it marginalized competitors, bribed politicians, influenced the media, and now has led to a public addicted to tobacco, drugs, and surgery. And now we wonder why Americans are so unhealthy?

This is the real medical monopoly we have in America today, not the dramatic movies about medical heroism or them comedic medical shows you watch on television. Indeed, the current demise of the American healthcare delivery system is not a result of bad luck or unforeseen circumstances, but it is the result of the medical monopoly’s war on competition and free enterprise.

This medical war has been a bloody battle not only for chiropractors who were jailed, segregated, and ostracized, but literally it has also been a bloody battle for the millions of civilians who have suffered from this not so “friendly-fire” in the medical war on chiropractors. Just as post-war Germany was left in ruins, so too the American healthcare system today is in dire straits as we all can agree.

In conclusion, I ask the jury in the court of public opinion to be fair-minded, something the medical profession has never been. I ask that you look at the facts and forget the ugly lies you have heard from the medical propaganda. I ask you to think of the millions of patients, perhaps yourself or family member included, who has suffered needlessly from back pain when simple chiropractic care could have helped you.

I ask you to think of the thousands of chiropractors who went to jail because they helped sick people get well without drugs or surgery. Think of the 12,000 who were persecuted and the 3,300 who went to prison for the crime of helping patients with the ageless art of spinal manipulation. Think of their thick-skins, strong backbones, and the broken hearts these chiropractic warriors endured in this medical war machine that they fought literally with only their hands.

Perhaps now you can understand that America cannot fulfill its American Dream until every chiropractor can work unfettered to help the millions of people who suffer daily. Now you can understand, like the German Jews, that all chiropractors want is the same civil rights, basic liberties, and professional respect they are due in a free society. They ask for no privileges as the medical brethren have done. Chiropractors do not want to stand along them on the medical pedestal; all they ask for is a fair chance on a level playing field to help patients get well.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask that you find the AMA guilty of crimes against humanity. I ask that you make them bear the responsibility of this healthcare failure and the unwarranted burden they have caused chiropractors. The facts are clear and speak for themselves.

Let me add one more important point for you to consider.

While you cannot change the morality of a medical bigot with a blackened heart toward chiropractors, what does this mean in terms of your own personal morality? Just as the German population after the war had to accept the Nazi dogma against the Jewish people was perverted, and just as Southerners in America had to learn after the Civil War that racism was unacceptable, now every American who has been tainted by the medical propaganda needs to learn their skepticism of chiropractors is unjustified, too.

When you hear a distasteful racist joke or hear a sexist comment about a woman, it is morally-incorrect to encourage such bigotry. The same can be said about pejorative comments by medical chauvinists. If you hear an MD call a chiropractor a quack, just recall that is Morris Fishbein, the Medical Mussolini, speaking from the grave.

If you hear someone saying chiropractic is dangerous or absurd, recall the trial evidence and testimonies from medical experts that support chiropractic care. Recall the comparative studies and international guidelines that say spinal manipulation is preferable to drugs, shots, and back surgeries for most cases.

Although chiropractic has had a difficult path from persecution to vindication, it has made victorious achievements during this medical war.  Every American should also be proud of these brave chiropractors who stood fast under the barrage of medical warfare unseen in our country’s history to bring an ageless healing art to a suffering world.

Despite the on-going medical war, there stood tall those chiropractors who knew there was a bigger battle at hand. Dr. Kerwin Winkler, former chairman of the ACA Board of Governors, mentioned the plight of chiropractic: “It is time to tear down the walls of isolation, bridge the moats of prejudice, and work as a separate and distinct brigade of the same army. The enemy is not medicine; the enemy is disease.”[26]

Unfortunately, the medical profession has never embraced Dr. Winkler’s wisdom. Perhaps if they found their backs against the wall like chiropractors, they too would dedicate themselves to a higher purpose than simply making money. Undoubtedly, the chiropractic mettle has been hardened after a century of warfare, a trait few Americans understand but one that you, the jury, is now keenly aware.

The struggle from persecution to vindication has been a tumultuous story of a dark chapter in medicine that only a chiropractic advocate could tell. The medical war against chiropractors will not stop until chiropractors have the same privileges as MDs in hospitals, in insurance equality, patient access, and in the media.

It is time for the good men and women in medicine to make amends for the damage done by their predecessors. Indeed, it is time for conciliatory actions to speak louder than misguided words from medical bigots.

It is past time to give chiropractors the respect they are due.

 

 



[1] Memo from Robert Youngerman to Robert Throckmorton, 24 September 1963, plaintiff’s exhibit 173, Wilk v.AMA.

[2] Testimony before The Institute of Medicine: Committee on Use of CAM by the American Public on Feb. 27, 2003.

[3] William Trever, “in the Public Interest,” Scriptures Unlimited, Los Angeles, Calif., (1972): 1.

[4] Milton Sanford Mayer, “The Rise and Fall of Dr. Fishbein,” Harper’s Magazine, (Nov. 1949): 76-85.

[5] Memo from Robert Youngerman to Robert Throckmorton, 24 September 1963, plaintiff’s exhibit 173, Wilk.

[6] Ibid. PX-172 November 11, 1962.

[7] Ibid. Throckmorton Dep. 131-32.

[8] George P McAndrews, “Plaintiffs’ Summary of Proofs as an Aid to the Court,” Civil Action No. 76 C 3777, Wilk, (June 25, 1987): 17.

[9] Memo from Robert Youngerman to Robert Throckmorton, 24 September 1963, plaintiff’s exhibit 173, Wilk.

[10] Ibid.

[11]  Joseph A. Sabatier, MD, Minutes from the “Chiropractic Workshop,” Michigan State Medical Society, held in Lansing on 10 May 1973, exhibit 1283, Wilk.

[12] PX-56, 156A

[13]Chester A. Wilk, James W. Bryden, Patricia A. Arthur, Michael D. Pedigo v. American Medical Association, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, No. 76C3777, Susan Getzendanner, Judge, Judgment dated August 27, 1987.

[14]  Opinion pp. 10

[15] Richard C. Wolf, M.D., “A retrospective study of 629 workmen’s compensation cases in California,” 1975

[16] Rolland A. Martin, M.D., Director of Oregon’s Workmen’s Compensation Program, “A retrospective study of comparable workmen’s industrial injuries in Oregon,” 1972

[17] Freitag testimony on May 20, 1987, Wilk et al. v. AMA et al. p. 812.

[18] Manga et al.

[19] Getzendanner, ibid.,p. 49.

[20] Editorial Staff, “Looking Back: 1988,” Dynamic Chiropractic 26/06 (March 11, 2008)

[21] “Attitudes toward chiropractic health care in Oklahoma,” Welling & Company and Oklahoma Chiropractic Research Foundation in cooperation with the Chiropractic Association of Oklahoma, 1984.

[22] Morris Fishbein,  Medical Follies, (New York, Boni & Liveright, 1925): 43.

[23] George P McAndrews, “Plaintiffs’ Summary of Proofs as an Aid to the Court,” Civil Action No. 76 C 3777, Wilk, June 25, 1987, p. 17.

[24]Chester A. Wilk, James W. Bryden, Patricia A. Arthur, Michael D. Pedigo v. American Medical Association, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, No. 76C3777, Susan Getzendanner, Judge, Judgment dated August 27, 1987.

[25]“With Costs Rising, Treating Back Pain Often Seems Futile” by Gina Kolata, NY Times, February 9, 2004.

[26] Kerwin Winkler, DC , Outlook; Aug. 1993

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