Although Chiropractic has been in existence for thousands of years
it has endured the bigotry and scrutiny of the medical profession. Despite the
AMA's unsuccessful attempt to extinguish chiropractic altogether, constant
dissection has taken place throughout the years.
On September 25, 1987, a United States Federal judge ruled that the AMA had
violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and that it had engaged in an unlawful
conspiracy in restraint of trade "to contain and eliminate the chiropractic
profession." The judge issued a permanent injunction against the AMA under
Section 16 of the Clayton Act to prevent such future behavior.
Dr. George Langlitz Jr. became a part of that history when he
too fought the battle for the appropriateness of his title and knowledge, at
which time he was prosecuted for utilizing the term "Physician".
Chiropractors are "real doctors" and Dr. Langlitz fought for and won
this recognition, now a provision under Massachusetts General Law:
There has been a long dispute whether a chiropractor can be considered a
"physician", whether chiropractic is a form of medicine and whether the
chiropractor may utilize the title "chiropractic physician". While there are no
cases directly on these points, from a legal standpoint, it is safe to state that a
chiropractor does practice a limited form of medicine, especially since some individuals
who practiced chiropractic before licensure were criminally prosecuted for the unlawful
practice of medicine. See Commonwealth vs. Jewelle, 199 Mass. 558, 85 N.E. 858, and
Commonwealth v. Zimmerman, 221 Mass. 184, 108 N.E. 893, where Chief Justice Rugg
defined medicine as follows:
"Medicine relates to the prevention, cure and alleviation of
disease, the repair of injury, or treatment of abnormal or unusual states of the body and
their restoration to a healthful condition. It includes a broad field. It is not confined
to the administering of medicinal substances or the use of surgical or other instruments.
It comprehends a knowledge, not only of the functions of the organs of the human
body, but also of the diseases to which these organs are subject, and of the laws of
health and the modes of living which tend to avert or overcome disease, as well as of the
specific methods of treatment that are most effective in promoting cures. "
In the case of Langlitz v. Board of Registration of
Chiropractors, 396 Mass. 374, 486 N.E.2d 48, the Supreme Judicial Court made
specific reference to the term "chiropractic medicine."
The use of the title "chiropractic physician" is valid because
the qualifying word, "chiropractic", does not confuse the public and clearly
discloses that the particular healing art practiced is chiropractic.
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