Chiropractors called to court

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Chiropractors called to court




Victims of neck-adjustment mishaps sue

Kevin Libin, National Post
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2008

CALGARY -At more than 80 pages, it is already an unusual statement of claim; the longest Edmonton lawyer Daryl Wilson has ever seen. "It's quite something, isn't it," beams the lawyer behind a massive class-action lawsuit filed last week against Alberta's chiropractors and government.

Also, the pages virtually seethe, accusing the chiropractic business of "masquerading in the white smock of science [to] perpetuate [the] unregulated indiscriminate use" of "dangerous" neck manipulations. Rails the claim: "It has got to be stopped."

The outrage is fuelled by the case of lead plaintiff Sandra Nette. Until last September, she was a fit 41-year-old land administrator with a love for singing and classical piano. Today she is tetrapalegic.

She "cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in her body," the claim explains. Sandra, her husband David says, "lives in a prison."

What happened, according to David Nette, is that Ms. Nette visited a chiropractor for a routine neck adjustment. Afterward she felt dizzy and nauseous. Soon, she was pulling her car to the side of the highway, calling for help. Hours later, Mr. Nette said, doctors told him his wife's vertebral arteries were torn; she had suffered a massive stroke.

This has happened before: cervical spine manipulations producing brain trauma or death. Lawsuits have followed. Even public inquiries, as in the chiropractic-related deaths of Saskatchewan's Laurie Jean Mathiason and Ontario's Lana Dale Lewis. But the Nettes' suit is a first in that it targets not only practitioners, but regulators, and argues that spinal manipulation, a chiropractic staple, is illegitimate, and that in sanctioning it, the government and the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors are not only advancing a useless treatment, but putting lives at risk.

Read it [url=]here.[/url]


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