The Wilk vs. AMA Lawsuit

Another inquiry that further validated chiropractic came about through an antitrust suit filed by four members of the chiropractic profession against the American Medical Association (AMA). and a number of other medical organizations in the United States (Wilk et al v. AMA et al, No.90-542, October 1990).

In 1987, following 11 years of legal action, a federal appellate court judge ruled that the AMA had engaged in a “lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott” designed to restrict cooperation between MDs and chiropractors in order to eliminate the profession of chiropractic as a competitor in the United States health care system. During the preceedings it was shown that the AMA attempted to :

1. Undermine Chiropractic schools

2. Undercut insurance programs for Chiropractic patients

3. Conceal evidence of the effectiveness of Chiropractic care

4. Subvert government inquires into the effectiveness of Chiropractic

5. Promote other activities that would control the monopoly that the AMA had on health care

(This was upheld by the 7th United States Circuit Court of Appeals.)

The AMA offered a patient care defense; however, data from Workmen’s Compensation Bureau studies served to validate chiropractic care. Specifically, studies comparing chiropractic care to care by a medical physician were presented which showed that chiropractors were “twice as effective as medical physicians, for comparable injuries, in returning injured workers to work at every level of injury severity.”
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The settlement of the suit included an injunctive order in which the AMA was instructed to cease its efforts to restrict the professional association of chiropractors and AMA members. The AMA was also ordered to notify its 275,000 members of the court’s injunction. book a room . In addition, the American
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Hospital Association (AHA) sent out 440,000 separate notices to inform hospitals across the United States that the AHA has no objection to allowing chiropractic care in hospitals.

Since the court findings and conclusions were released, a growing number of medical doctors, hospitals, and health care organizations in the United States have begun including the services of chiropractors.

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