Idaho legislature says chiropractors can cash in on vitamin infusion craze

Idaho chiropractors can cash in on the latest health craze, vitamin and mineral infusions, according to a bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor this past week. Chiropractors certified in "clinical nutrition" will be able to administer vitamins A and C and all B vitamins, plus minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc, by means that include intravenous injections, as well as orally and topically.

Under current Idaho law, chiropractors can already practice "clinical nutrition" and prescribe vitamins, minerals, other dietary supplements and homeopathic remedies to patients. Injectable vitamins and minerals are legally considered drugs, so an expansion of practice was required to allow IV administration. Fortunately, if the chiropractor wants to infuse the patient with a combination of vitamins and minerals, he will have to get a compounding pharmacy to whip the mixture up. Chiropractors won't be allowed to mix their own concoctions of two or more vitamins and minerals. That won't prohibit, though, quack single-vitamin infusions, like high-dose vitamin C.

Becoming certified in clinical nutrition is a pretty easy prospect. All they will need in 77 classroom hours plus 24 clinical hours in administration, lab testing and blood chemistry interpretation, all of which they can get at chiropractic school. Considering the plethora of bogus nutritional testing methods available, there should be no shortage of opportunities to upsell patients on the need for injections.

Except in cases of actual deficiency, which are rare, and use for a handful of diseases, vitamin and mineral infusions are not supported by adequate evidence of safety and efficacy. Vitamin and mineral infusions are usually the province of naturopaths, "integrative" physicians who reject evidence-based medicine or MDs just looking to make a quick buck off a fad.

But the entire premise of chiropractic in Idaho is not supported by evidence, so these new privileges should fit nicely into the chiropractic paradigm.According to the Idaho Association of Chiropractic Physicians,

"Like other things in your life, your body and specifically your spine need proper, regular care. When the spine is neglected, one or more of the spinal bones can lose their position and become misaligned. These misalignments and the effect they have on nerve function can be corrected and prevent through a wellness care plan that includes Chiropractic adjustments. By utilizing the wellness care or preventative adjustment to treat the entire person rather than treating symptoms there is a greater chance for correcting the cause of the problem, avoiding future illness and disease and enhancing general well-being."

This is pseudoscientific nonsense, of course, based on the pre-scientific imaginings of a 19th century itinerant "magnetic healer" who thought "nerve flow" was interrupted by "spinal misalignments," thereby causing "dis-ease.""Adjustment" of these "misalignments," called "subluxations," allowed the "nerve flow" to resume, thereby allowing the body to "heal itself." Regular "adjustments," according to the chiropractic view, prevents this imagined effect on nerve function, thereby keeping the body healthy. Since first proposed in 1895, chiropractors have never been able to prove subluxations exist, that they can find them, that they have any deleterious effect on human health, that they can correct them, or that this putative correction is beneficial to the patient. Despite these substantial deficiencies, the Association is right in one regard: this is exactly how the state of Idaho legally defines chiropractic practice.

So, now, chiropractors, who believe in this make-believe of subluxations and nerve malfunction and adjustments, will be in the position of deciding when to inject someone with a very real cocktail of ingredients that, like chiropractic treatment itself, is highly unlikely to actually help them. Via the magic of Legislative Alchemy, a state legislature has once again turned a fantasy treatment into a legal health care practice.


Points of Interest 04/02/2017
Points of Interest 04/01/2017