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'Extreme' chiropractors' practices 'child abuse'

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 8 March, 2013 - 4:41 PM
Chiropractor. (Photo: Kate Geraghty)

A group of ‘extreme’ chiropractors have been called into question, with one senior doctor believing claims chiropractic treatment can cure serious paediatric illnesses were effectively ‘child abuse’.

Speaking with Tom Elliott, Dr Alastrair MacLennan, an emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Adelaide, said there was a ‘serious minority’ of chiropractors who wanted to be parents’ first port-of-call when their children were unwell.

Professor MacLennan said he was concerned a group of chiropractors were running courses which he believed turned them into ‘pseudo-specialists in paediatrics’, where they learned to diagnose and treat a range of illnesses and disorders, including asthma, insomnia, autism, cerebral palsy, bedwetting and urine infections.

Professor MacLennan said these chiropractors believed there were subluxations, ‘mythical joint disorders that somehow are magically connected to the immune system or to any other part of the body that has the illness’.

Professor MacLennan said these chiropractors were ‘delaying the onset of a child being seen by a qualified practitioner’, while some were taking an anti-vaccination stance.

LISTEN: Professor Alastair MacLennan speaks with Tom Elliott:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • I heard this segment on the radio as was disturbed at the lack of definition of what chiropractic , naturopath and myotherapists . No one was able to separate the skills of each profession. While recognizing that there is the cowboy element in any field , I have enjoyed excellent treatment and positive results from chiropractors. They are expertly trained , our family has been going for years and both my children have been treated from birth. My daughter is a 3rd year chiropractic student.
    In the above photo , that is the correct position for the child. The chiropractor is checking to see if the child's feet are level. This is the first basic step to see if the hips and spine are in alignment.
    Some public education about the role of chiropractors is very much needed.

    Michelle Wilson Tuesday 12 March, 2013 - 9:53 PM
  • Very one sided, from a Gynaecologist commenting on a profession in which he has no training, a self proclaimed expert in everything Chiropractic.
    I have been to Chiropractors and my children have been to Chiropractors, and I find them well trained, in legitimate sciences and diagnostic sciences, at a university level, are constantly keeping up to date by attending lectures and seminars.
    I have never heard them claim anything of the sort that MacLennon alleges, and Im not confused by their title Doctor, which is shared by Dentists, Vets and PhD professionals, and yes I am a member of the public and also a medical practitioner, and I too cant claim to cure the common cold, but then, Im not a gynaecologist.

    BD Sunday 10 March, 2013 - 11:53 PM
  • I don't like the look of the position that child is situated in the photo it looks dangerous and any parent that believes in it is a fool and is putting their child at great risk of a severe injury.

    mandy Friday 8 March, 2013 - 6:51 PM

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