Part mischief to this site and part poke-in-the-eye to zeno’s blog this title is nothing short of how I feel about the whole GCC-statement…
Thing is, let’s look at what the wording of the GCC’s “controversial activities” could mean:
GUIDANCE ON CLAIMS MADE FOR THE CHIROPRACTIC VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION COMPLEX
The chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex is an historical concept (well, it is a concept which was created in the past, isn’t it?) but it remains a theoretical model (which must be the most significant endorsement of the GCC’s alignment with the principles of the chiropractic profession I have ever heard or read). It is not supported by any clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made (that’s an ASA issue, not a GCC issue, ie the GCC can’t do anything about that other than comply) that it is the cause of disease or health concerns.
Chiropractors are reminded that
- they must make sure their own beliefs and values do not prejudice the patients’ care (GCC Code of Practice section A3) (ie the GCC is reminding us that we cannot advertise. communicate or otherwise promote our approach for anything other than that for which there is ASA-standard evidence)
- they must provide evidence based care, which is clinical practice that incorporates the best available evidence from research, the preferences of the patient and the expertise of practitioners, including the individual chiropractor her/himself (GCC Standard of Proficiency section A2.3 and the glossary) (ditto)
- any advertised claims for chiropractic care must be based only on best research of the highest standard (GCC Guidance on Advertising issued March 2010) (ditto)
My interpretation? The GCC acknowledges the chiropractic profession has a theoretical model revolving around the chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex. It also acknowledges this theoretical model’s weakness (its lack if high-end research evidence) and the restrictions such a weakness impose on us as a UK-based profession.
Fundamentally I take away form this two things:
- the chiropractic profession is working off a theoretical model which has not yet been rigourously tested
- unless it gets tested you can’t publicise claims in this country under ASA regulations
I don’t think that’s unfair, if anything I think it is largely overdue that the UK’s chiropractic profession came to the conclusion it can’t make claims unless it does its homework. Noone is saying it can’t be done, or that no work at all has been done, just that the work necessary to make claims in this country hasn’t been done.
This, in contrast is the interpretation of the GCC statement by zeno, a blogger who like two other bloggers skepticbarrista and skepticat (I have questioned them both on their topic and never received an answer to the contrary), still believe that chiropractors today practice for the(ir understanding of) reasons given 120 years ago:
“just an historical concept, consigned to the history books as an outdated and irrelevant concept that explains absolutely nothing and based on no evidence whatsoever; something dreamed up 120 years ago by a magnetic therapy salesman“
Cute but utterly irrelevant as no-one is actually agreeing with their interpretation of the subluxation model (claiming that subluxations cause all diseases and that all subluxations are spinal). This is where they seem to be a little more than confused. I don’t think it says either of these statements anywhere in the green books, nor could you sanely come to any of these conclusions based on what has actually been said or written. I know some people have come to these conclusions, but I think they were being silly, playing silly or just plain silly. Ergo; these inane bloggers hold a skeptical position about their own interpretation of the meaning of the chiropractic subluxation concept which is not shared with the vast majority of the chiropractic profession in the UK … and so they should, because as far as I can see it their position is a very dangerous one and we have much more sense than that.
Thanks for reading. Do post, anonimously if you fancy it, but whatever you do: don’t be apathic. Let the profession know that although we are a group, a profession is also a collection of individual people. It is the people that give it its identity, not the collection. Stand up for your interpretation of the subluxation complex and let’s get to work on figuring things out… my personal suspicions are that we’re really not that different deep down…
Just remember: if these so-called skeptics can make you think they have a point by telling the world they have one, then it is clear to me that it is the individual apathy towards this debate that is the sword our profession will end up throwing itself onto.
Many kind regards,
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