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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA June 2012
72 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 2 June 2012 INTRODUCTION In a recent “Chiropractic & Manual Therapies” Journal, Perth chiropractor J. Keith Simpson writes on “The Five Eras of Chiropractic & the future of chiropractic as seen through the eyes of a participant observer.” 1 This follows John W. Reggars’ “Chiropractic at the crossroads or are we just going round in circles?” in the same Journal.2 John W. Reggars graduated in 1972 from Roberts’ Chiropractic College of Australasia, Melbourne and practices in Mitcham, Victoria. Reggars summarises in his paper that “for the profession to move forward it must base its future on science and not ideological dogma” and opines “The push by some for it to become a unique and all-encompassing alternative system of healthcare is both misguided and irrational.” J Keith Simpson BA (Hons) DC, is a 1982 graduate of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto; emigrated to Australia in that same year and commenced practice at Cleveland, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland. In 2002 he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Queensland. Dr Simpson is currently adjunct senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences School of Chiropractic and Sports Science at Murdoch University, Perth WA. The Journal BioMed Central is an Open Access Publisher that permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In his paper, based on the second FG Roberts Memorial Lecture delivered at the 2011 annual conference of the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia in Melbourne, Simpson identifes Five Eras of chiropractic, while Reggars explores infuences that have impacted on the credibility, advancement and public utilisation of chiropractic in Australia and as his paper’s title suggests, asserts that the future of chiropractic is at a crossroad. “For the profession to move forward it must base its future on science and not ideological dogma.” he writes. Dr Philip S. Bolton’s 1989 University New South Wales PhD Thesis entitled Central Connections of Primary Afferents from the Neck is a notable scientifc start.3 The Five Eras Simpson identifes are: 1. The Era of Free Trade in Medicine 1860-1900. 2. The Era of Prosecution 1900-1950. 3. The Era of Persecution 1920-2000. 4. The Era of Legitimation 1960-present. 5. The Era of Opportunity 2000-present. The Era of Free Trade in Medicine is characterised by Simpson as “a time when all and sundry could ply their trade because there was no legislation in the United States of America.” Commentary: Quo Vadis? The Era of Prosecution, Simpson notes, was a period when “the chiropractic profession was in confict with allopathic medicine.” 4 During that period there were more than 15,000 prosecutions, about 20 percent of which resulted in incarcerations.5 On one occasion there was a mass arrest of 100 chiropractors in New York City.6 Simpson divides the Era of Persecution into “informal” and “formal” periods. Dr Morris Fishbein MD, “The Mussolini of Medicine”, was Secretary of the American Medical Association (AMA) from 1924 to 1949. He initiated the “informal” period, while the “formal” period was launched by the AMA with adoption of the Iowa Plan’s formation of the Committee of Quackery, designed to “contain and eventually eliminate the cult of chiropractic as a health hazard in the United States.” 7 The Era of Legitimation emerged from independent inquiries into chiropractic, of which a major four of a total of eighteen worldwide were held in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Three were Royal Commissions.8-10 The fourth included the Australian Government Medical Benefits Review Committee 2nd Report 1986, also known as the Layton Committee Report.1 In The Era of Opportunity, Simpson explores three future options that he sees are available to the chiropractic profession. They are: (a) To maintain the status quo, (b) To move forward as a united profession and (c) To divide the profession and let each faction fend for itself. This paper, “Quo Vadis?” - where are you going? - summarises and explores Simpson’s above three options that he sees available to the chiropractic profession in Australia and should be considered by the profession in debate and general discussion. DISCUSSION. J. Keith Simpson’s Five Eras of chiropractic mirrors in number Dr Stanley P. Bolton’s fve discrete historical periods presented at the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress held in Sydney in June 2005.11 It is Simpson’s contention “that the culture of chiropractic as it stands is for a large part the result of external forces and that unless and until the profession recognises how these forces have infuenced its development, progression of chiropractic into the 21st century healthcare system will not occur.” He too, like Reggars argues that survival of the chiropractic profession hinges upon its acceptance of science to exploit the tremendous opportunities ahead. Simpson asserts that to maintain the status quo effectively prevents the chiropractic profession from taking full advantage of the current Era of Opportunity.
CJA March 2012
CJA September 2012