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FCLB’s New ‘Model Practice Act’: A Slippery Slope

201102130043.jpg Donald D. Harrison, DC, PhD, MSE

Originator of Chiropractic BioPhysics Technique

President of CBP NonProfit, Inc.


The leadership of Chiropractic’s main organization’s who regulate, manage and direct the chiropractic profession, are once again pursuing a path down the slippery slope of expanding the professions’ scope into prescriptive rights. As you likely recall, the profession recently spoke out (with a rumored 4000 responses) against the Council on Chiropractic Education’s (CCE) recent schema to remove subluxation (and adjustment of the spine) from educational requirements, and allow schools to adopt the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DCM) degree, among other complaints.1 The reader may also recall the actions within the state of New Mexico to give DCs prescriptive rights under the guise of a licensing board designation of “Advanced” Clinical Practice.2


Now another organization has begun pushing the profession down the same slippery path. The Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB), led by its President Daniel Saint-Germain, DC, has posted a document for review by stakeholders. This document is titled, “MODEL PRACTICE ACT FOR CHIROPRACTIC REGULATION” and has been posted by Life Chiropractic College West on their website for review.3 For those of you not familiar, the FCLB is a non-profit entity that serves as a collective resource for state regulatory boards. Your state licensing board likely pays dues to the FCLB, but only to the tune of $400-$1300 annually, depending on the number of licensees in your state. This is not much money, so the FCLB gets additional support from outside their members.

Additionally, the FCLB gets funding from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). Yes, the NBCE who gets their funding from students who pay for the administration of FOUR different national board tests. For example, the FCLB website states, “The National Board provides the FCLB with office space, at the token rent of $2 per year [emphasis mine].4 The website continues, “The NBCE has frequently met the Federation's needs for office equipment and furniture.4 Besides indirectly funding their crusade with student dollars, the reader should also be aware that the FCLB has gotten additional funding from NCMIC Insurance Company and annual reported donations from the ACA.4 The “Chiro Cartel” of our profession can be studied in Figure 1 as I personally envision it to exist. Notice that nearly all money funding the Cartel comes from field DCs and students. In my opinion, the resultant collusion is to advance the profession toward the model of allopathic medicine.

            Now that you are beginning to understand the incestuous nature of the multi-headed beast within our own profession, I will focus on the FCLB’s “Model Practice Act” (MPA) and the problems contained therein.


FCLB’s Model Practice Act Quandary

1.     FCLB’s MPA defines “Chiropractic” in Section 102 (Statutory Definitions) as, “a primary care health discipline that recognizes the inherent recuperative power of the body, whose practitioners promote and facilitate health through the evaluation, diagnosis and management of structural conditions or other disorders of the body that interfere with physiological function or neural integrity.

2.     Of importance, they continue, “Chiropractic practice does not include the use of legend pharmaceuticals or operative surgery” [emphasis mine].

These first two points are great and, in my opinion, a couple of the core components essential to defining the essence of the Chiropractic profession.

However, later in the document, they propose as part of their “Model Act” to include a “Formulary”, a concept right off of the page of New Mexico’s recent move into allopathy. This MPA appears to set the stage for the Chiropractic and Pharmacy boards to appoint a committee to decide what substances chiropractors can prescribe and administer (including by injectable means).

3.     In the section on Scope of Practice [Section 5.01: (A) (3) (d)] it states that the practice of chiropractic would include, “the performance of needle insertion therapy, or the authority to dispense certain non-pharmaceutical agents contained within the Chiropractic Formulary, pursuant to the requirements of the chiropractic practice Act, Article IV (Specialty Chiropractic Practices) and regulation Section 5.02”.

Clearly there is little worry about DC’s recommending neutra-ceuticals, as this is and has been a part of mainstream chiropractic for years.

The Problems

In my opinion, the problem is that this becomes a slippery slope where prescription pharmaceuticals could later be approved by a small group of appointed individuals (self proclaimed ‘experts’), who may not represent mainstream chiropractic.

There is also another problem with what is presented by the FCLB in this Model Practice Act. Recall that the Chiropractic Statutes and Board Rules in New Mexico fabricated an “Advanced Practitioners” designation. Through either an unimaginably coincidental or perhaps well-orchestrated series of events, the FCLB seems to indiscriminately introduce another fabricated term to describe these so-called “Advanced” chiropractors. The “Specialty Chiropractic Practices is named in this Model Practice Act, although the exact description of this group is left out of the document; it is available on the Life Chiropractic College West’s website.3

So, in addition to what may appear to be an agenda to go down the slippery slope of expanding the scope of chiropractic into prescriptive drug rights, at the same time certain “special” doctors will get a board-regulated designation of being “Advanced” (in New Mexico) and being “Special” by any states that adopt the FCLB’s MPA. In many states this would seem to be illegal according to current statutes, as insinuating that you are somehow better than other chiropractors is generally not statutorily permitted. But these “Special/Advanced”, super-duper chiropractors may soon be coming to a corner near you and will certainly be letting everyone know how “Special” and “Advanced” they are.


If you are opposed to the direction the “Cartel” of our profession is seemingly headed, you need to speak out. It can be stopped and reversed. I don’t believe that the FCLB is accepting profession-wide comment at this time, but we will let everyone know when they do. Ultimately mainstream chiropractors need to work to position themselves to obtain a state licensing board seat (generally through a governor appointment) or association board seat (through member voting) in your state. Get involved and get active in your state. You can no longer sit on the sidelines as our great profession is pushed towards a model of ‘sick care’ and prescriptive drug rights.


  1. Betz JW. CCE “Cartel” is at it again. AJCC 9/15/2010. http://tinyurl.com/CCE-Cartel
  2. Welsh SP. New Mexico “Chiropractic Advanced Practice” Law Raises Questions of National Significance. The Chiropractic Choice. December 2009. http://tinyurl.com/ICA-NewMexico-Article
  3. Life West website. Accessed December 19, 2010. http://www.lifewest.edu/FCLBdraftMPA.html
  4. FCLB website Accessed December 19, 2010. www.fclb.org/AboutFCLB/tabid/387/Default.aspx

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