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Philip S. Ebrall, BAppSc (Chiropr), GC (TLT), DC, PhD

Journal of Philosophy, Principles, & Practice of Chiropractic ~ July 27, 2020 ~ Pages 37-48



Objective: To apply the method of pragmatic narration to assess history relevant to the 2010 decision of the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) of the United Kingdom that subluxation is “without evidence and of value only in a historical context” and to relate the findings to similar statements made by the Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA) and the International Chiropractic Education Collaboration (ICEC) as well as contemporary statements of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC).

Methods: Two methods are defended for this paper. The first is the method of historical research and the second the method of writing a pragmatic narrative. The sought artefacts were formal minutes and other records of events surrounding the decision taken in 2010 by the GCC and replicated by the CBA in 2013. Also examined is an undated statement of the ICEC and a contemporary commentary by antagonistic academics aligned with the WFC that publicly applies the principle of the GCC statement against protagonist colleagues of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA).

Results: The contention is found true that the GCC’s statements and guidance on subluxation as “without evidence and of value only in a historical context” is academic opinion presented in the absence of evidence. The corresponding guidance of the CBA is based without further evidence on the written opinion from a professional association without evidence, simply echoing the opinion of three academics as presented to the GCC. The contention is also found true that the few chiropractic colleges which are signatories to the ICEC statement expressing the same words in an education context is evidence-free and incorrectly attributed to an education meeting of the WFC.

Conclusion: I consider it true to state that directives of the regulatory bodies GCC and CBA, the opinions of a college cartel (ICEC) and the WFC are not grounded in evidence. I consider the elevation of opinion over evidence to be indicative of eminence-based chiropractic.

Keywords: Chiropractic, subluxation, decision-making, eminence-based chiropractic, Pragmatic narrative.

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