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WFC Secretary General Richard Brown Testifies in Death Case Saying it was Appropriate for Care to Proceed Without X-rays

Testimony is at Odds with WFC & ACA Anti-X Ray Policies

According to reports in the press, Richard Brown DC, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and well known Subluxation Denier, said he had been asked by North Yorkshire Police to investigate the death of John Lawler who died following chiropractic care.

Brown has called for the addition of drugs to the scope of chiropractic practice and is a critic of the management of vertebral subluxation referring to those who practice in such a fashion as practicing a psuedo-religion and a cult. Brown has called for those who practice this way to be "eradicated".

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The news of Mr. Lawler's death has made worldwide news as the public and chiropractors grapple with the implications of the events surrounding it.

The public story is that Mr. Lawler, an 80 year old man with leg pains and metal rods in his lower spine because of a degenerative condition, sought chiropractic care and was managed without x-rays. It is alleged he suffered a break of his calcified posterior longitudinal ligament as a result of a drop table adjustment to his cervical spine. That break is said to have resulted in disc protrusion that compressed his spinal cord.

Calling Richard Brown DC a "world expert" media reports state he was cross-examined for hours by counsel for Mr Lawler’s family on issues regarding the appropriateness of the chiropractor's management.

Brown stated, according to reports, that it was appropriate for the chiropractor to treat without ordering X-rays of his spine, saying chiropractors had once routinely X-rayed patients but this had been criticised and it had now become the exception.

Of course many chiropractors still routinely x-ray patients prior to putting forces into the spine despite what Brown claims and in this case, given the red flags, Brown's opinions are at odds with the very "red flag only x-ray guidelines" the WFC endorses. It seems Brown, the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) are about to see the pendulum swing the other way in regards to their extremely restrictive radiology policies as the Coroner in the inquest is expected to call for the routine taking of x-rays by chiropractors prior to any care being delivered.

Brown also testified that he would not personally have used the drop table with a patient whom he suspected of having osteoarthritis. One wonders why Brown would not have ordered x-rays on an 80 year old man with a history of spinal surgery who had metal rods in his spine, was complaining of leg pains and where he suspected he had osteoarthitis.

It appears Brown would ignore the very guidelines the organization he leads has adopted.

Worse still is Brown's contention in his testimony as reported that the use of a drop table is contraindicated in cases where the patient has osteoarthritis when in fact drop table is considered a low force technique and its use is actually encouraged in such cases.

Perhaps the real fault in this case resides in the ridiculous x-ray policies that have been adopted by the WFC and the ACA and rammed down the throats of chiropractors who perhaps follow them in order not to be hauled before their regulatory board for allegedly unnecessarily exposing their patients to ionizing radiation.

As more of these cases arise, as they inevitably will, plaintiffs' attorneys may want to consider directing the fault to its cause which are the trade organizations that adopt these ridiculous guidelines and then make their members sign pledges to abide by them in order to retain their membership. That is the real threat to public health.

McCoy Press