Connecticut Chiropractors’ Informed Consent Standard Upheld

June 11, 2010

In a comprehensive and detailed ruling published today, the Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners confirmed that Connecticut’s chiropractic physicians are taking the proper steps to inform and protect their patients. Through its ruling, the Board reaffirmed that the informed consent process practiced by the state’s Doctors of Chiropractic is the standard of care for the profession.
 
Today’s decision caps a process that began more than a year ago when the Connecticut Chiropractic Association asked the Board to issue a declaratory ruling on whether the current standard of informed consent is sufficient or whether, as opponents demanded, that it specifically include the possibility of a stroke or cervical artery dissection as a possible side effect of cervical manipulation/adjustment.
 
The Board’s decision follows four days of testimony in January in which an extensive range of evidence was presented. In making its determination and declaratory ruling, the Board cited the most comprehensive scientific study to date on the subject, research by J. David Cassidy, DC, PhD, DrMedSc and colleagues. The Cassidy study is considered the definitive research on the subject. The abstract and complete paper can be found at PubMed Central, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2271108/.
 
In issuing its final judgment on the matter, the Board wrote: “After a careful and thorough review of all the testimony and documentary evidence admitted at the hearing, the Board concludes that there is sufficient evidence to establish that a stroke or a cervical arterial dissection is NOT a risk or side effect of a joint mobilization, manipulation or adjustment of the cervical spine.”