ACA Files Amicus Curiae Brief with New Mexico Court

We realize that ACA's recent filing of an amicus curiae brief with the New Mexico Court of Appeals may raise questions among ACA members. To help answer them, ACA provides the information below to clarify the association's motivation in filing the brief, the content and intent of the brief, and our policies related to the matter.

If you still have questions after reading this, please contact the ACA Communications Department at communications@acatoday.org or call 703/276-8800.

 

ACA's Press Release (Sept. 13, 2012)

ACA to Court: N.M. Chiropractic Physicians Should Have Right to Self-Determination

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) today filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the New Mexico Court of Appeals, supporting the expertise of chiropractic physicians in that state and their right to self-determination.

ACA was compelled to file the brief after the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) joined forces with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy and the New Mexico Medical Board in a December 2011 memorandum to the court, requesting a halt to efforts by the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners to create an advanced practice training and certification program for chiropractic physicians.  

In making its argument in favor of allowing New Mexico chiropractic physicians to chart their own course in this matter, ACA’s brief informs the court about the extensive educational background and training that chiropractic physicians receive today from accredited U.S. chiropractic colleges.

The brief also points out that ACA is the nation’s largest and preeminent chiropractic professional association, and that its long-established policy has been to recognize that local doctors are best equipped to determine matters of scope.

“It is ACA’s opinion that the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners should be given the same respect as other state boards and allowed to determine what is best for chiropractic physicians and patients in that state. We object in particular to actions by the ICA, as well as the state’s pharmacy and medical boards, to interfere with the will of chiropractic physicians in New Mexico and the needs of their patients,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC.

It is uncertain at this time when the court will make its final ruling on the issue.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research, legislation, insurance reforms, and public awareness activities that contribute to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

The Amicus Curiae

To read the ACA's amicus curiae brief in its entirety, click here.

 

Questions and Answers

Q: What is an amicus curiae brief?

A: Amicus curiae literally means "friend of the court." It is a brief filed by an individual or organization that is not a party to the litigation, but who believes that the court's decision may affect its interests. The court has the option to accept or decline an amicus curiae.

 

Q: Why did ACA decide to file its amicus curiae?

A.  ACA respects the right of chiropractic physicians in the states to self-determination, and the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners is the appropriate authority regarding chiropractic scope of practice in the state.

Additionally, ACA believes it was inappropriate for the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) to align itself with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy and the New Mexico Medical Board in opposition to the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

 

Q: What does the ACA amicus curiae brief state?

The ACA brief supports two points:

  1. That chiropractic physicians are highly trained and highly skilled health care providers whose professional perspective, provided through the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, should be given the same consideration by the Court as the state’s Medical Board and Board of Pharmacy; and
  2. That ACA is the nation's largest and preeminent chiropractic professional association representing chiropractic, whose long-established policy is to recognize that local doctors in each state are best equipped to determine matters of scope of practice.