Articles by JCS

Responsible for Failure

The Responsibility for Failure

In the Court of Public Opinion:

Chiropractors v. the Medical Profession

“… the ultimate objective of the AMA, theoretically,

is the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.”[1]

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury:

You have sat through a lengthy discourse on the plight of the chiropractic profession suffered at the hands of the American Medical Association. Please bear with me now as I summarize the facts you have learned 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.

The tribulation of the chiropractic profession has been a road less traveled by thick-skinned and strong-willed chiropractors who have endured the pit holes, bumps, twists, and turns that were unknown to most Americans. You have learned that the history of the medical profession is a story that has many dark chapters with players who appeared as guardians to some and villains to chiropractors. Indeed, this untold story of chiropractic from persecution to vindication has been stranger than fiction.

Certainly the turning point in this story 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 only be told by a chiropractor.

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.[2]

Long before the advent of their Committee on Quackery and the Wilk trial decision, now you can understand why writer Milton Mayor in 1949 prophetically dubbed the AMA as “…the most terrifying trade association on earth.”[3] Little did he know the true intention 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, “the ultimate objective of the AMA, theoretically, is the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.”[4]

It may be difficult for 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 that may be true, there is another side of these medical professionals that is just as strong, if not stronger, a dark side that this trial has exposed to you and one that the chiropractic profession has seen 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 any patients come forth complaining about their chiropractic treatments. Never could the AMA find any 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 admissions against evidence.

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, Karl Benz, Rudolf Diesel, and Albert Einstein. The German culture is refined, its food and beer are delicious, and the German people are bright and friendly.

But Germany also brought to the world Adolph Hitler and his gang of Nazis that shook the world to its core of sensibility with the most barbaric atrocities the world had 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.

However, while certainly not as horrendous as the Nazis, the AMA’s atrocities in the medical war stemmed from the same devious mindset of criminals filled with same hate and bigotry toward chiropractors and with the same intent – a Final Solution to eliminate another group of innocent people as they admitted themselves in testimony.

While the Wilk trial may have been the AMA’s Waterloo, the carnage left by this “lengthy, systematic, successful, and unlawful boycott”[5] described by the judge to eliminate the profession of chiropractic has never been properly acknowledged, nor the chiropractors who were prosecuted 15,000 times or the 3,300 who were unfairly imprisoned have never been remunerated for their humiliation and losses. All they sought was the right to help sick people get well naturally without drugs or surgery.

Sadly this landmark decision went without much fanfare and, in effect, actually stiffened medical opposition similar to what the South experienced after the Civil War forced racial desegregation causing 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 anything the MDs can do. 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[6],[7] 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.[8]

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 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.”[9] She understood the animosity this medical war had created even after she declared a legal peace among the warring parties.

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.  The AMA simply 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. In effect, while Principle 3 was finally revoked, it had left indelible scars on the minds of its own members as well as upon its victims.

The consequences of the medical war on chiropractors and other CAM providers may appear to the average American as insignificant to their lives or even seen with an air of complete indifference for those medical bigots who “wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one,” as one person stated. 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, as you have learned, 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. 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 was also known as the Medical Mussolini by his contemporaries and headed the AMA for 25 years, wrote of his evil intention: “Scientific medicine absorbs from them that which is good, if there is any good, and then they die.”[10] And die many alternative practitioners did in the medical war and many more were left gravely wounded as active participants in the war against pain and suffering.

AMA, Inc. has well earned its reputation as the most terrifying trade association on the earth. Morris Fishbein and his successors in the Committee on Quackery conquered their opponents, stole their effective methods or buried them altogether; as they testified, to watch them “wither on the vine” to extinction.

We have shown this bigotry still lingers on today as evident by Dr. Raymond Bellamy who celebrated, as he told the media, with a bottle of Champagne after he led an academic uprising in 2004 to pressure Florida State University to veto the proposed chiropractic program that would have proven or disproven the scientific basis of chiropractic – an issue the medical profession had long called for, but when it was about to happen, Bellamy and his medical mob lynched that possibility. Chiropractor-educator-researcher John J. Triano, DC, PhD, offered to “let the chips fall where they may,” but these medical Nazis refused to let him deal. Certainly, this medical mob was afraid of the truth and instead burned the books just like the German Nazis who denied freedom of thought to the good citizens of Germany who chose to worship or to think differently than Hitler.

As late as 2009, Dr. Nortin M. Hadler, a renowned medical author and professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, also forgot his academic ethics and intellectual fairness in his latest book when he parroted Morris Fishbein. Instead of citing the many research studies that support chiropractic care, he described chiropractic care as “placebo”, “imaginary”, and “hocus-pocus”; he bragged of his “medical chauvinism” and suggested, “Are the practitioners self-deluding and their patients seduced by placebo events?”[11] If Dr. Hadler once had any credibility as an educator, he surrendered it in his latest book.

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 good 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 unmistakably revealed these shocking tactics, language, and attitudes of the AMA. When asked to swear to tell the truth in the witness box, the AMA executives could not prove their allegations against chiropractic. When they testified that chiropractic was “absurd” and an “unscientific cult,” the evidence proved just the opposite. We also saw this bigotry in the New Zealand Inquiry on Chiropractic, but when the MDs down under were asked to prove their accusations, they also could not.

In fact, as you heard in evidence, many medical witness testimonies were the “admissions against interest” that made the judge remark how these medical witnesses – practitioners and researchers – were actually testifying in behalf of the chiropractic-plaintiffs. Yes, you heard the testimonies of honest MDs who know that chiropractic helped patients, including medical men like John McMillan Mennell, Pre Freitag, and Irwin Hendryson, who also happened to be a board member of the AMA. Just as not all Germans were Nazis, not all MDs toed the line of the evil men in the AMA.

But the more the AMA, Inc. 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 sordid, 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. 

In 1962, the AMA Committee on Quackery issued a call to arms – its Final Solution – to organize medicine against the “menace of chiropractic.”[12]  AMA, Inc.  demanded the entire medical community “undertake a positive program of containment” so that the “chiropractic menace will die a natural but somewhat undramatic death.[13] (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.”[14]

Youngerman described in a memo the same demagoguery that the Nazis used to demonize the Jews when he wrote that chiropractors were “a clear and present danger” and MD 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. [15]

He warned that medical doctors had not taken chiropractic seriously and suggested it was their duty to spread lies about chiropractors:

To physicians, chiropractic is utterly ridiculous. Consequently, physicians have either ignored or ridiculed chiropractic and let it go at that … the public is entitled to have facts, figures, and scientific information about this cult and its practices and limitations. The public does and should look to the medical profession for unbiased and authoritative information on this subject. Medicine has not fully met this responsibility.[16]

Youngerman likened chiropractors to “rabid dogs … killers” and fomented medical demagoguery among themselves and the public and despite the lack of proof declared themselves dedicated to the total elimination of any such unscientific cult.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.”

Buyer Beware

It is impossible to understand how such a mindset works to deceive an entire nation of Americans to trust a medical profession, a profession supposedly dedicated to saving lives, could have as its main goal the total elimination of a competitor that posed no real threat to patients, but did pose a financial threat to MDs.

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.

Indeed, how can you trust a profession who puts its own profit above your well-being? How can you be certain that diagnostic test or that 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?

Certainly, the lack of ethics shown toward chiropractors by the medical profession besmirches anything else they may do. Just as in a courtroom when a witness lies to the court, it undermines the rest of his testimony. The same should be held for your MD – if he lies to you about your back pain, what else is he lying to you about? As I said, Buyer Beware.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, in this court of public opinion, the facts are clear – the AMA was found guilty in a court of law for a “lengthy, systematic, successful, and unlawful boycott”[17] 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.

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 medical profession.

Let me put this medical war into perspective for you. Some of the older jurors may remember the aftermath of World War II when war crime trials were held that revealed the depth of demagoguery and bigotry that led to the deaths of 60 million victims on all sides. Accountability and responsibility were investigated and punishment was handed out to those responsible. It was a tearful look into the worst of human nature.

The Wilk case was as close to a war crime trial that occurred in the medical war on chiropractors, but it ended much differently than the world war – even though the AMA was found guilty, there was no punishment for the AMA representatives and virtually no soul searching afterwards in this medical war.

Regrettably, few people have ever reflected upon the damage done to chiropractors or the eventual damaged upon the American society who stood by and watched as they too were victimized by a medical profession hell-bent on total domination at all costs to both patients who were denied the best of spinal care as well as to the chiropractors who suffered from this Final Solution.

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.

An appropriate likeness can be seen and analogies can be made from the award-winning movie, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), a fictionalized film account of the post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. Some of you may have seen this movie that was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift.

This Oscar winning movie spoke of the mindset of the judges who enforced the Nazi’s policies, which is similar to the same mindset evident that set the tone for the medical war on chiropractors that began formally in 1963 after decades of laying the foundation of hate by Morris Fishbein.

Unlike the movie, however, there was no moral accounting of the leaders of this medical war. There was no tabula rasa by the AMA leadership to reconstruct the damaged chiropractic image, and no mea culpa to apologize for its past transgressions. It is as if World War II ended with the Nazis still in control. Indeed, there has never been any restitution paid by the AMA for the damage it has done.

The film depicts the Judges’ Trial before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in 1947 of four judges who served during the Nazi regime in Germany. Two key threads in the film’s plot involves a “race defilement” trial known Katzenberger Trial in which an elderly Jewish man was tried and put to death for simply having a friendship with a young “Aryan” woman. The other thread was that of a harmless baker’s assistant who was sterilized by the Nazis for being mentally-retarded.

Certainly the Nazis did not want any “race defilement” by the Jews with Aryans. Sadly 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:

“A physician should practice a method of healing founded on scientific basis; and he should not voluntarily associate professionally with anyone who violates this principle.”[18]

The real issue was not a “scientific basis” of chiropractic since the Wilk testimony (and the New Zealand Inquiry on Chiropractic) proved the AMA never investigated the scientific evidence and ignored supportive information even when provided by its own board member, Dr. Irwin Hendryson. The sole intent of this Principle was to isolate chiropractors to the margins for elimination and to punish any MD who might refer patients to them.

The AMA’s Principle 3 was little different than the 1934 Civil Servant Oath demanded by Germans to swear loyalty to Adolf Hitler rather than to the nation or the 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 murder 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.

AMA Ober Alles

The medical Nazis made sacrificial lambs of innocent people who practiced the ageless methods of spinal manipulation and other natural healing methods. They ridiculed those who spoke of a vitalistic, higher power in healing. Mockery and ridicule typified this medical mindset, expressed by their common lie that “everyone knows chiropractic is an unscientific cult.” But if you didn’t agree because  you were one of the millions of satisfied chiropractic patients, then something must be wrong with you was the clear implication.

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.

 “AMA Ober Alles” became the war cry of political medicine and the resulting carnage of chiropractic was justified when Joseph A. Sabatier, MD, chairman of the AMA’s Committee on Quackery said that “Rabid dogs and chiropractors fit into about the same category … Chiropractors were nice [but] they killed people.”[19]  To the Committee On Quackery, chiropractors were not colleagues in the fight against pain and suffering, but they were enemies to eliminate by any means. Just as an MD might wipe out a germ with an antibiotic without giving it a second thought, this Committee tried to wipe out chiropractors with the same indifference.

Indeed, if Fishbein and Sabatier were alive and 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 for chiropractors.

What difference would it make to the AMA, Inc. 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. How far from the truth has the medical profession wandered when good men and women stooped to such low morality?

In the movie, Judgment at Nuremberg, actor Spencer Tracy’s character portrayed the head judge who agonized over who was responsible for the atrocities of the Third Reich – the Nazi Party, of course, but where would he draw the line? If the judges were guilty, 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 nation, he concluded, bore the “responsibility for failure.”

The German defense attorney portrayed the responsibility for this failure as acts done by a handful of Nazi extremists, not by an entire nation that did not know what was happening, he insisted. Yet even good Germans said nothing as they profited by the expropriation of 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.

What can be said of the spine surgeons who know the research cannot support the vast quantities of spine fusions done today? Experts tell them that the disc theory is dead, but unethical surgeons still use disc abnormalities seen on an MRI or x-ray image as selling points to scare unsuspecting 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 device manufacturers, and even the insurance companies who pay for these expensive and mostly ineffective surgeries.  This is a $100 billion industry that AMA, Inc. has no wish to lose to chiropractors or anyone else who might help patients get well 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.

The astounding and growing numbers of drugs, shots, and spine surgeries today speaks volumes that most MDs still boycott chiropractic care, ignore the positive comparative studies and research, and suffer from professional amnesia when they hear the call for reform in spine care. Certainly this medical war has thousands of accessories to the AMA’s crime and, in their minds, the war is far from over – like mercenary guerrillas, they have taken the war underground and resist all change. When only 6% of chiropractors have hospital privileges, it is obvious the medical society has little intention to integrate.

Indeed, this despicable 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. As Judge Susan Getzendanner said, “The AMA has never made any attempt to publicly repair the damage the boycott did to chiropractors’ reputations.  Chiropractors suffer current economic injury as a result of the boycott.”[20]

Not unexpectedly, very little was mentioned by the medical-friendly media about this landmark legal ruling in the Wilk v. AMA case just as the media ignored the death camps in Germany.  Few in the public or press are aware of the extent of dirty tricks unleashed by the AMA to undermine the chiropractic profession.

Even fewer knew of the burglary of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s office, wiretapping, and illegal surveillance during the trial or that George McAndrews and his brother Jerry had to meet secretly in an Iowa cornfield for fear of surveillance. Certainly the evidence in the Wilk antitrust trial made the Watergate burglary look amateurish considering the far-reaching implications of the medical war, and the AMA’s army of 22 attorneys would not fight fair against the sole chiropractic attorney.

This lengthy antitrust trial exposed the greedy underbelly of political medicine — the vicious Committee On Quackery Gestapo-styled goon squad of the AMA, Inc. 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. 

Let me read to you the testimony of one prominent victim of this medical war who wrote an article, “AMA’s Top Lawyer Doyl Taylor Ran like a Scared Rat during Our Trial.”[21]

The AMA’s plan for attacking chiropractic had no regard or respect for truth or accuracy but just to destroy the image of a profession. In fact the bigger the lie the more believable it became.

Their “containment and ultimate elimination” strategy came right out of the Nazi handbook. We need to bring this out and not be timid about it, and with tongue in cheek humor, call the AMA the “American Misinformation Association”, while observing that this represented more truth than humor.

After our antitrust suit was filed against the AMA and ten other defendants, Doyl Taylor took an early retirement from the AMA and fled across the State line and out of the jurisdiction of the Northern Illinois Federal Court. When we ultimately took a deposition of Taylor in Arizona he admitted under oath that he didn’t know the difference between a chiropractor and an antelope, and that he was just doing his job, and so he admitted to circulating unverified false information.

When Attorney McAndrews noted to Taylor that we have PhD’s teaching in chiropractic colleges, he sneered that they were just minorities. And so he slandered the minorities. When we tried to subpoena Taylor to come to Chicago to testify during the trial he sent his son instead who testified under oath that his father had “crippling arthritis” and couldn’t make it but we established with a detective agency that Papa was on the golf course golfing every day, hardly a pastime for someone with crippling arthritis.

And so the AMA policy on chiropractic was actually led by a self-admitted bigot, disseminator of misinformation, and a liar and fraud who devoted eleven years of his life trying to eliminate an honorable profession yet didn’t have the guts to come to court and face us when given the opportunity he ran away to Arizona.

It’s hard hitting but we are fighting for survival. This is what it will take to change deeply rooted misinformation.

Now you can understand why Dr. Wilk once referred to Doyl Taylor as the
“Adolf Eichmann” of the AMA. Just like many Nazis fled to South America after the war, many AMA officials fled to avoid their responsibility for this failure.

Let me now read to you the summary of the trial by the chiropractors’ attorney, George McAndrews. “In the Aid to the Court,” Mr. McAndrews summarized the proof:

Moreover, refusal of so-called scientific organizations to distribute the Hendryson Report, the Oregon and California scientific studies of the efficacy of chiropractic care, the New Zealand Report, and their overt efforts to stifle chiropractic education, are not only despicable, but they are anti-patient welfare and care in the extreme. A person of science does not conceal or suppress either science or education.

These actions are totally at odds with defendants’ allegations that what they did was: (a) for patient care; (b) objectively reasonable; or (c) arose out of genuine concern for care of individual patients.

Defendants have also failed to meet their burden to prove that the boycott was established and implemented out of “genuine concern” for the scientific method. The hallmark of all who participated in the boycott was remarkable ignorance of chiropractic, its methods, and its benefits.[22]

Mr. McAndrews mentioned that the boycott took a major decision about patient care—referrals and other professional associations—out of the hands of the medical physicians—the only ones who had a “doctor-patient relationship.” Thus defendants have not established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the boycott was established in the interests of “the care of each person with whom they have entered into a doctor-patient relationship.”[23]

Instead of protecting patient care, the real motive behind the AMA, Inc.’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.

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

Responsibility for Failure

Without any doubt, the blame for today’s healthcare crisis can be laid entirely at the doorstep of AMA, Inc. Under the policy of Morris Fishbein that continues to this day, not only has the AMA fought against so-called quackery (its buzz word for competition), but the AMA has also fought against any type of health care reform that would improve America’s ailing healthcare delivery system and might drive down physicians’ fees or the overall escalating costs of healthcare.

The evidence has shown that Fishbein’s strategy, if not effective for America’s overall health problems, 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.

This is the real medical model we have in America today, not the dramatic movies or comedic medical shows you watch on television. The facts show that America leads the world in every category of chronic degenerative disease, including back pain and arthritis, and we are number one in costs, 72nd in overall population health, and 37th in healthcare delivery.

Television psychologist Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that working for you?”

As a nation, we must ask the same: has a century of drugs, shots, and surgery worked well to solve our health problems? Considering Americans are among the sickest people in the civilized world, the answer is clearly no it has not.

In effect, the entire paradigm of health and disease has been solely a function of what’s best for political medicine rather than the outgrowth of diverse ideas from different healthcare disciplines. Ever since AMA, Inc has taken control, there has never been any free enterprise on a level playing field in American healthcare that would have honed the best products and services. Instead, we have had a virtual monopoly that has exploited patients and eliminated competition, all in the name of “patient care” by the self-proclaimed “guardians of health” – these medical Nazis and their illegal and immoral Code of Ethics.

To say the least, the American healthcare system has not been clinically or cost-effective. In fact, it has been an expensive disaster that has become the leading cause of personal bankruptcy for Americans as well as nearly causing the bankruptcy of this country, and if an effective healthcare reform does not materialize soon, medical costs will inevitably bankrupt this country.  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 war.

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

In conclusion, I ask the jury in the court of public opinion to be fair-minded, something the medical profession has never done. I ask that you look at the facts and forget the ugly lies you have heard from the medical Nazis. I ask you to think of the millions of patients, perhaps yourself or family member included, who has suffered from back pain and suffered needlessly 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 15,000 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 the thick-skins, strong backbones, and broken hearts these chiropractic warriors endured in this medical war.

No longer will we hear newspaper columnists like Ann Landers who chided chiropractic care when she wrote, “The truth is, he’d probably have been cured if he had fanned himself with goofus feathers.”[24]

The time of public ridicule has passed; chiropractors are no longer the butt of jokes by prejudiced people. Perhaps now you can understand how someone could say, “I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one,” just as you can understand how good Germans cold look the other way when Hitler exterminated the innocent Jews.

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 rights, liberties and respect they are due in a free marketplace. They ask for no privileges as the medical brethren have done; all they ask for is a fair chance on a level playing field.

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 failure.

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 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 is unacceptable, now every American who has been tainted by the medical propaganda needs to learn their skepticism of chiropractors is unwarranted, too.

When you hear a distasteful racist joke or hear a sexist comment about a woman’s body, it is politically-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 speaking from the grave.

If you hear someone saying chiropractic is dangerous, ineffective, or placebo, 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 been a victorious achievement in this medical war.  Every America 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.

George McAndrews noted in his speech before the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference in March 2002.

“Thirty years ago our goal was getting rid of the quack label, now it’s about equality and fairness.  If we go hat-in-hand, they’ll give us nothing.  They’re still launching salvos because we’re taking their money.  I don’t care if they get angry, that passed a long time ago.  We don’t need to apologize.  It’s all about money now.”

It has always been about money for the AMA; for the chiropractors, it was always about survival. Although it was a 100-year battle, and there are battles yet to be won in skirmishes with the medical underground and capitalists who stand to profit, the facts and evidence now speak clearly that chiropractors are due equality and respect as learned members of a great healing tradition. Now it is about respect, too.

 Like Rosa Parks who grew tired of sitting in the back of the bus, chiropractors are also tired of being thrown under the medical bus. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, it is time to judge a person not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. It is past time for the medical profession and the public to do the same – to judge chiropractors not by the medical propaganda of medical Nazis, but by their good clinical results that chiropractors do daily in their offices helping millions of people.

Indeed, it is time for 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.

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

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

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

[5]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.

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

[7] 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

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

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

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

[11] NM Hadler, Stabbed in the Back, p. 68

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

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

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

[15] Ibid.

[16] Robert B. Throckmorton, legal counsel, Iowa Medical Society, “The Menace of Chiropractic,” an outline of remarks given to the North central Medical Conference, Minneapolis, 11 November 1962, plaintiff’s exhibit 172, Wilk, 6: p. 126.

[17] 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.

[18] PX-56, 156A

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

[20] Wilk et al v AMA et al., US District Court Northern District of Illinois, No.  76C3777, Susan Getzendanner, presiding judge; Judgment dated August 27, 1987.

[21] Chester Wilk, “A Format to Use on Radio, TV and Press,” http://www.nmchiroassoc.com/articles/wilk%20article.pdf.

[22] George P McAndrews, “ Plaintiffs’ Summary of Proofs as an Aid to the Court,” Civil Action No. 76 C 3777, Wilk, June 25, 1987, p. 121.

[23] Wilk, 719 F.2d at 227.

[24] Ask Ann Landers, Chiropractors Eyed, January 28, 1971, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA.

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