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Chiropractic training doesn't include immunization expertise

Based on previous letters to the editor, I am compelled both personally and as a chiropractor to respond to the rhetoric surrounding the issues of immunization.

The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto is the only English-speaking Canadian school for chiropractors and has not sanctioned any formal education program that deals with the immunization issues. To my knowledge, neither of my colleagues, Dr. James Gregg nor Dr. Jeff Winchester, who wrote letters about immunization, has had a formal background that qualifies him to be an immunization expert.

The peer-reviewed professional literature does not support their case despite their abstract reference to the contrary.

Their personal views are not reflective of all chiropractors in the field and I distance myself from their views.

The mainstream of chiropractors does not believe there is a conspiracy by the major drug companies or medical professionals to provide bogus information to the healthcare providers that administer their products and services, or to mislead the general public. This idea is insulting to one's intelligence and is utterly absurd.

Those who subscribe to these skewed theories have actively placed themselves outside the consensus of judicious clinical thinking. Most clinicians and patients are not swayed from the preponderance of scientific evidence in favour of the benefits of immunization, despite rare risks of complications.

As a chiropractor, I confine my professional clinical opinion to only those issues that are chiropractic related.

The important message is that all patients must have informed consent before any intervention is undertaken, regardless of the practice of health care or the seriousness of the procedure. Patients should ask their health-care providers questions. Trust information offered from objective, credible, and recognized sources. Specific health care advice is no to be found in letters to the editor.

Chiropractors have a legislated scope of practice that includes primarily the assessment and treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal (NMS) complaints. That is: nerves, muscle, and bone joints. To supplement this scope, chiropractors will also discuss other important health issues to promote good health an assist in the treatment of particular conditions.

Chiropractors are doctors who are adept and effective in safely managing a variety of NMS conditions, acute or chronic. There are a variety of methods a chiropractor may use within his or her practice to evaluate and treat specific conditions. Sometimes a chiropractor may order X-rays to evaluate a condition.

One does not need a referral to see a chiropractor.

The Ontario Ministry of Health, the Worker's Safety and Insurance Board, private insurance companies, individuals and professionals all over the world recognize the benefits of chiropractic care, which has stood up to scientific scrutiny.

Our education and training is rigorous, thorough, and diverse enough for us to be recognized by provincial, and federal laws as primary health-care providers.

Chiropractors hold the title of doctor, are an integrated part of health care delivery and favour working with other practitioners and one-on-one with patients.

Parents and patients must educate themselves and make their own informed decisions based on the facts of immunization (and not the noise.

Kitchener-Waterloo Record January 28, 1999 Vincent Leering, D.C.

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