While always claiming public safety as its reason for the attacks, the true reasons often involve protecting their monopoly of the healthcare market.
Medicine's opposition to chiropractic was its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein, Secretary of the American Medical Association from 1924 to 1949, who led a 50-year anti-chiropractic campaign in both professional publications and the public media.
professional publications and the public media.
Historical Antitrust Lawsuits Against Medical Societies
In 1975 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Goldfarb vs. the Virginia State Bar, that learned professions are not exempt from antitrust suits.
In 1982 the Court ruled that the FTC could enforce antitrust laws against medical societies.
These two suits paved the way for five chiropractors to file an anti-trust suit against the American Medical Association (AMA) and several other heath care agencies and societies in Federal District Court (known as the Wilkes Case).
Judge Susan Getzendanner found the AMA and others guilty of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession in September of 1987, ordering a permanent injunction against the AMA and forcing them to print the court's findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Even with success of the Wilkes Case and other anti-trust litigation, the AMA continues to this day to wage a campaign against chiropractic.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against "alternative" healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, as the above article recounts in detail.
But was this the end of it? Has the AMA resigned itself to the fact that chiropractic, as well as other forms of natural medicine, are here to stay? Not a chance.
The AMA's Bedfellows
Even with the success of the Wilkes Case, the AMA has continued to wage war against natural medicine for the past 20 years—but in more covert ways. It's the "Cold War" phase of this battle, but every bit as fierce. And now the AMA has rallied up a few significant allies, including:
•The American Dental Association (ADA)
•The American Cancer Society (ACS)
•The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and
•The American Psychiatric Association (APA)
Federal Courts Rule AMA "Guilty as Charged"
In 1987, the federal courts found the AMA and several other medical groups guilty of seeking to create a healthcare monopoly. Specifically, they were found guilty of the following actions (published in the January 1988 issue of JAMA):
1.Systematic defamation of naturopathic, chiropractic, and osteopathic physicians
The attack on osteopathic medicine has largely faded away since then, but chiropractic and naturopathic practitioners, as well as other legitimate natural medicine practitioners, continue to be the targets of suppression and misrepresentation. The war isn't over, but the rules of engagement have changed.
AMA Declares New War on Natural Medicine in 2006
In 2006, the AMA declared war on natural medicine by publicly stating on its website its intention to forcibly oppose licensure and practice of naturopathic physicians. Although they quickly removed this from their site, the following is a direct quote from that post, according to Naturopathy Digest:
"RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association work through its Board of Trustees to outline a policy opposing the licensure of naturopaths to practice medicine and report this policy to the House of Delegates no later than the 2006 Interim Meeting. (Directive to Take Action) Fiscal Note: Implement accordingly at estimated staff cost of $10,836."
Translation: Eliminate the competition.
According to The Integrator Blog, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) joined the battle with a statement that their goal was to "thwart the growing threat of expansion of scope of practice for allied health professionals" and included psychologists on the list of medical practitioners who needed to be "thwarted" (in addition to naturopaths, chiropractors, and midwives). The APA pledged their allegiance to the AMA in assisting them with "coordinating research to help medical specialty societies and state medical associations fight expansions in non-medical scope of practice, and improve information sharing among those groups."
Other medical associations have made similar pledges, such as the Minnesota Medical Association and the New York Academy of Family Physicians. They maintain that their position is based on concern for quality of care and patient safety, but the REAL agenda is just an attempt to destroy the competition.
As Chiropractor Louis Sportelli writes in his 2010 article in Dynamic Chiropractic:
"Just look around and you will see clear and compelling evidence that the long-standing war between the AMA and everyone else who does not come under the AMA umbrella is far from over. The names have changed, the venue has changed, but the intent has remained the same: to maintain monopolistic control over the delivery of health care."
Old Mission, New Tactics: AMA Learns How to Discriminate with Impunity
In 2010, the AMA House of Delegates introduced a resolution regarding scope of practice that contains limitations on who can be considered a legitimate physician, and who can medically diagnose. Specifically, the AMA's "Definition of a Physician" (H-405.969) contains the following language:
"The AMA affirms that a physician is an individual who has received a 'Doctor of Medicine' or a 'Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine' degree."
This is proof, without a doubt, that the AMA as well as individual state medical associations intend to continue doing everything they can to prevent you from accessing natural healthcare. Texas and Connecticut medical associations were the first to join the cause, and others will likely follow. Similarly, the AMA's "Comprehensive Physical Examination by Appropriate Practitioners" reads as follows:
"…the performance of comprehensive physical examinations to diagnose medical conditions [should be limited] to licensed MDs/DOs or those practitioners who are directly supervised by licensed MDs/DOs."
It's Not Just the AMA
Perhaps it's time to take a real look at medical associations, and the concern that they may be doing more harm than good. For groups who claim to exist in order to protect your health, they inevitably end up sabotaging it. It isn't just the AMA. Other medical associations that claim to exist for the betterment of public health include the following:
•American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
When someone's words differ from their actions, chances are that their actions more accurately reflect their values—and this is true for organizations, as well as individuals. Although medical associations claim to have your best interests at heart, their actions tell a different story. It's time to begin holding them accountable for their behavior and stop letting them hide behind the same old tired rhetoric.
You have a right to make your own choices about your healthcare, be it allopathic or naturopathic—whether you see an MD, an ND, or a DC should be YOUR decision and yours alone.