Over 90% of BCA chiropractors, not guilty of unprofessional conduct! Is that a good result? Could it have been prevented?

spartacussI love the part in the movie Spartacus where the Romans want to crucify Spartacus and Tony Curtis stands up and says I am Spartacus and one by one other slaves stepped forward in support of Spartacus choosing to die together with honour.

So far 10% of BCA chiropractors have been found guilty of making “bogus” claims based on advice given by a leadership  which has pushing the “evidenced” base line for many years. Chiropractors rightly assumed the information they were been given at their conferences was suitable for advertising and conformed to the GCC code of practice. Thats what you have an association for, to represent you and know this stuff and you dont expect to hear Simon Singh a PhD in particle physics telling  you that there is “no biological basis for what you do” and your association is “happily promoting these treatments” without a “jot” of evidence

Because of a desire to promote the evidence model, members were left high and dry when the shit hit the fan, with no insurance to cover their legal costs. Because the BCA had trimmed coverage to keep costs down. To add insult to injury the BCA members had to agree to have their cases heard behind closed doors to save the GCC from going bankrupt. This the same GCC who were going through the complaints trying to find new evidence they could use against BCA chiropractors. They were being saved by the BCA council, because the majority of chiropractic members of the GCC are BCA members. Its called the old boys club least we forget.

The GCC could not have forced any of the BCA members under investigation to pay their registration fees, BCA member Stefaan Vossen refused to pay in 2009 and 2010, the GCC coucld do nothing and now the case has been dismissed he can either pay £2,000 or come of the register. The BCA council  told their members to pay and fund Margaret Coats persecution of 10% of their members.

BCA members who did not do what head office ordered were not given help to defend their case. I have spoken to some of them. The chiropractors who decide to defend their integrity at an open hearing and go against the BCA’s advice are  the hero’s of the profession and when their hearings come up we must make sure the public gallery’s are full. I have made that appeal before and only a handfull turned up, they were busy the idiots had patients to see??

Richard Brown seems to imply that 90% of chiropractors got off because of BCA support. The fact is the vast majority of chiropractors would have been found guilty if it were not for the fact many of the conditions on the complaints were claims also being made on the GCCs own website. Speaking from personal experience, I can say Margaret Coats is happy to  use questionable methods to gather evidence to support a complaint,  however this was a bridge to far for the Legal Assessor and after legal advice the GCC were not allowed to prosecute those complaints. It would have amounted to entrapment  and Coats was told to find other breaches to charge them with and she did her best to get as many chiropractors as possible in front of the PCC.

If I had remained on the register I would not have been in breach of the code, because I make perfectly clear what I do on my website. I analysis the spine and correct subluxations. While I have seen people with a whole range of conditions, parkinson’s, MS, asthma children with colic, ear infections etc, I do not treat “conditions” or “symptoms”, I correct the subluxations , fixations, stiffys, whatever you want to call them of people who may have conditions.

Its not rocket science, chiropractors dont treat conditions, they correct spinal dysfunction and there is anecdotal evidence that by correcting spinal joint dysfunction certain conditions can be improved, (you then put a link to those studies) and people can decide for them selves not Ernst or skeptics, our customers decide as in any walk of life. I have been advocating this approach since I was at college, but the academics who were desperate to claim “back pain” for chiropractic have led the profession on a merry “evidence based” dance.

This situation will never change because of the variety in causality with pain syndromes and difficulty of standardising the chiropractic intervention. There will never be conclusive “proof” that chiropractic cures back pain and we have to accept that and deal with it. Stick with what chiropractors have been doing for a hundred and fifteen year and dont listen to the fools who hardly ever touch a patient and wish to medicalise chiropractic for their own ends.

I have nothing personal against BCA president Richard Brown, when I have met him or communicated with him he has always been very pleasant. He is knowledge on Medico Legal Facts relating to chiropractic care. However his take on the GCCs decisions in relation to his own members on his Face Book page clearly illustrates that he is the wrong man to lead the profession out of a mess largely created by himself and former BCA president Tony Metcale.

Richard has been a senior figure in the profession for many years, has been paid many thousands by the GCC and knows their code of practice inside out. With that in mind I think he has a cheek to criticise the GCC for not issuing “any specific advice to Registrants in relation to the basis upon which claims could be made about their services until March 2010”. He was theGCC’s main expert witness, involved in the prosecution of many chiropractors and it never occured to him to mention the importance of this in passing.

Is it the GCC’s responsibility or is that what you join an association for, to do it for you and advise you on these matters and provide you with the best insurance deal available.  Claims on website has been an obvious problem since Jesper Jensens case in 2002 and when Margaret Coats started making complaints to the ASA about the claims of AECC graduates who decided not to go on the register. This is one the reasons I fell out with the UCA they were reluctant to go there. They were talking about lights at the end of the tunnel and I was warning them that it was a train.

This is what Richard has to say on Face Book

“Decisions So Far: PCC Find Over 90% of BCA Chiropractors Not Guilty of UPC

There have now been almost 150 cases heard by the PCC in relation to mass complaints against BCA members made by UK sceptics. All cases were heard ‘on papers’ by the PCC. Over 93% of cases heard so far have resulted in not guilty verdicts and in those cases where the content of websites was determined to be in breach of section C1.6 of the GCC Code of Practice, the PCC applied the minimum sanction necessary to protect the public – an admonishment.

The BCA has assisted its members throughout this process by providing detailed legal advice and telephone support from its head office in Reading.

All of the cases related to marketing on particular parts of members’ websites. Allegations did not relate in any way to the treatment of patients. In reaching its decision, the PCC acknowledged the limitations of the Bronfort Report, commissioned by the GCC to investigate the evidence for effectiveness of manual therapies for a number of named conditions. It also noted that the GCC were not pursuing particulars in respect of infant colic, asthma, sciatica, tension headaches, menstrual pain and digestive disorders for the reason that the GCC had itself made reference to these conditions in its leaflets and on its own website.

Cases where members have been found guilty involve extracts from websites relating to the treatment of children. The level of sanction applied by the PCC reflected the fact that this was purely a marketing issue and noted that the GCC had not issued any specific advice to Registrants in relation to the basis upon which claims could be made about their services until March 2010.

These cases do not dictate scope of practice. BCA chiropractors are qualfied to treat patients of all ages and both children and adults can benefit from chiropractic care. The BCA has a number of members whose practices are mainly or wholly dedicated to the care of children and who possess post-graduate qualifications in chiropractic paediatrics”.

Finally Richard states that  “The GCC has published its Regulatory Report 2011 on its website. For more information, see http://www.gcc-uk.org/files/page_file/C-020311-11.pdf. It’s interesting to note that since 2002, the GCC has sought 56 prosecutions for section 32 offences – these are the ones where people are calling themselves/passing themselves off as chiropractors when they’re not on the GCC register. Fewer than 10% (n=5)resulted in a conviction. In 68% of cases (n=38) the police/CPS took no action. Protection of the public? Hmmm..”

A statement like this sound good to people who know little about whats going on. The public “needs protecting”. From who? Does Richard not realise how the skeptics will use his statement for  years to come. Richard Brown appears to be saying the public need protecting from AECC graduates like Richard Lanigan who are not on the register”. I am sure he did not intend it to come out like that, just like I am sure they did not intend for Simon Singh to bring the UK profession to its knees, but that the way it has come out.

Section 32 is for the police to seedk convictions, not the GCC, if someone is breaking the law and the GCC have information pass it on to the police and let them do their job rather than have Margaret Coats do the investigation for them. In fact the GCC have gone further than any other regulator seeking enforcement of section 32 according to the CHRE. They have used terrorist legislation to instruct Private Investigators, taping my phone calls, and trying to entrap me into saying I was a chiropractor.

This suggests the GCC is prepared to go to questionable lengths to get chiropractors arrested. Regulation is bad because the GCC behave like they do and get away with it, because guys who are supposed to be representing their members, or guys who have worked with Margaret Coats have  looked the other way when Margaret Coats put on her hobnailed boots and trampled over practitioners who were just trying to help people.

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