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Reblogged:Chiropractic: Worse Than You Might Think

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Over at The Outline is a lengthy piece about the pseudoscience of chiropractic. Even if, like myself, you have always dismissed chiropractic out of hand, you will probably have an even lower opinion of it afterwards. (e.g., A séance was important in its founding during a period rife with quackery.) And, if you don't have a strong opinion of it, or didn't realize that there are efforts underway to allow athletic physicals by chiropractors to suffice for physical requirements in school athletics, you should take a look.

Oh, and chiropractors are, unsurprisingly, on the anti-vaccination bandwagon:

"Freedom of medical choice" has become a popular way to phrase anti-vaccination views in the chiropractic community. The American Chiropractic Association's public policy on vaccinations states that "since the scientific community acknowledges that the use of vaccines is not without risk,(...)The ACA is supportive of a conscience clause or waiver in compulsory vaccination laws thereby maintaining an individual's right to freedom of choice in health care matters and providing an alternative elective course of action regarding vaccination." The World Chiropractic Alliance cloaks its anti-vaccine stance under "freedom of choice" as well, saying that medical practitioners should inform patients of all risks associated with vaccinating.

That doesn't seem too unfair until you consider that chiropractors are not asked to tell patients the risks associated with polio, whooping cough, measles, or chiropractic care itself. Fun experiment if you ever go to a chiropractor: ask them what the proper back-cracking procedure is to immunize oneself to zika or malaria. Bring your pet mosquito.
Although I oppose licensing laws and compulsory vaccination, I recognize that we are far off from the time that abolition will be seriously considered. Given that fact, we should, in the meantime, insist that the standards such laws are supposed to enforce be based as much as possible on actual science.

In a free society, if someone wants to make stupid health decisions, he won't have anyone to blame but himself. But in our mixed economy, he could potentially have the government there to mislead him/help him pretend he is making a wise choice by setting corrupt official standards.

-- CAV

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I don't understand the point here. The lengthy quoted portion (and no, I didn't click the link to read the whole article, nor do I plan on it) is meant to demonstrate that chiropractors are "on the anti-vaccination bandwagon"? But it does no such thing. The quoted portion demonstrates that these chiropractors are arguing for "freedom of choice," which the author of that article cynically reads as being anti-vaccination; yet he could do the same thing to Gus Van Horn when he writes, "I oppose licensing laws and compulsory vaccination," which is also, essentially, what the chiropractors are quoted as saying.

When Van Horn says, "I recognize that we are far off from the time that abolition will be seriously considered," what "abolition" is he talking about? Currently, as far as I know, parents can still opt out of vaccinations (at least in my state; perhaps that's not true everywhere). Is he assuming that vaccinations will be made mandatory, so we ought not fight against such legal schemes?

"Given that fact, we should, in the meantime, insist that the standards such laws are supposed to enforce be based as much as possible on actual science."

To clarify, I vaccinated my child per our pediatrician's recommendations, and I would advise any other parent to do the same. But I feel confused as to whether Van Horn is arguing that vaccinations ought to be mandatory... and also as to how chiropractors are "worse than I might think." They're worse because they're arguing against mandatory vaccinations? But we should all be arguing against mandatory vaccinations, right?

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