The College of Chiropractors of Ontario
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Thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns regarding the change to the CCO policy on vaccines. As a Chiropractor with ten year's experience, I have grave concern about our position as a profession on this matter, as I've had many people in my practice react badly to vaccines.
From Hepatitis B to the flu vaccine, we've seen a host of reactions: bronchitis, seizures, flu, arm swelling and soreness, migraines, headaches, decreased immune function and cancer. Although I cannot substantiate the cancer and subsequent death of this particular patient, I questioned why a young girl with no history of migraines would develop migraines shortly after obtaining the Hep. B shot. Two months subsequent to that, she was diagnosed with hepatocarcinoma as a primary cancerous site, but the cancer had already metastasized to her uterus, lungs and ovaries. She died within a year of receiving her Hep. B shot.
I question this policy when so many known risks are associated with vaccines. When I first read the proposed change, I wondered if it was political pressure from the Ministry of Health and the pharmaceutical companies that placed pressure on them. Clearly, whoever wrote the proposed change has never been in chiropractic practice and dealt with vaccine reactions with their patients. Additionally, whoever proposed this change has not done due diligence and looked into the vast amount of research that exists on vaccine reactions and the chemicals contained in these drugs.
As chiropractors, it is essential that we give our patients the opportunity to learn about their health and make informed decisions based upon their own research. This proposed policy does not even allow for us to communicate to our patients the need to make their own decision. It is a one-sided policy in support of vaccines. Do you, as a governing body, want us to lie to our patients about vaccine-associated risks and tell them that there is nothing to worry about? Then, when the inevitable reactions do occur, do we then tell them, "We knew there was a risk, but the CCO has directed us not to tell you about these risks" Since we knew of the risks, do we then become liable? I wonder if our malpractice insurance covers this type of situation?
Years ago, my dentist discontinued using amalgam as a filling material. He said that it was only a matter of time before the class action suits began in Canada and with a five - year statute of limitations, he wanted to be well under the five year deadline in using this toxic material. We know that there are risks associated will all drugs, not just vaccines and if we don't alert our patients, will we be culpable?
We have a moral obligation to the citizens of our communities across the province to give them the opportunity to seek information and make an informed decision based upon their own research. With class-action lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers already under way in both the United States and Canada, we will be placing ourselves in a very precarious position as a profession.
I also wondered if this proposed change was to gain acceptance in the health care system as a result of the prolonged inquest. As far as stroke is concerned, we have lost millions of visits to chiropractors in this province as a result of the fear that this court case has generated. In the eyes of many "gate keepers" of health care, they have labeled us guilty before the inquest has finished. So, we throw them this concession on vaccines to gain perceived acceptance?
With the advent of SARS, West Nile, and fears of biological terrorism with agents such as weapons-grade anthrax and small pox, is the government issuing a directive to all colleges to have all members support vaccines in the event that a mass-vaccination campaign is implemented in the interest of public safety? The vaccine manufacturers will have a field day! Look at the increased stock price of Cipro shortly after the anthrax-laced letters to the media were received in October 2001. How many billions of dollars will they make with a War Measures Act imposed vaccine program?
We cannot underestimate the trust that our patients place in us to tell them the truth about what's going on behind the scenes. With medical error killing anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 Canadians per year (according to Macleans and not an official source because it has only been almost a year and a half since the numbers have been tracked), our patients know that dangers exist in the administration of chemicals into the body. Because we are often the primary health care providers of entire families, we are asked questions about this on a daily basis. Each office in the province is a beacon of hope and health for our patients. They expect us to tell the truth when they can read about hospital induced infections and medical error on the front page of our daily newspaper.
With the CCO changing how we communicate to people, limiting how we can market to them and now stifling the research that exists about vaccines, it makes it very difficult to be a chiropractor. Many of us chose this profession because it was different, because it reflected the immense power of the nervous system to help people be well and because it was natural. With this watered-down chiropractic that the CCO wants us to practice, we are going the way of the osteopaths in the United States.
I do feel that the proposed change impinges upon my human right to free speech as a Canadian, guaranteed under the Charter. I believe that Chiropractic's ability to enhance health and human potential is so big, it is perceived as a great threat to the status quo of health care in our province because what we do is so powerful. It is so powerful that our own regulatory body has been given the mandate to censor our voices. I would be very interested to have a better understanding of who really runs health care in Ontario and who the CCO really answers to.
I, for one, would rather not practice at all, than practice in a profession that is a limp, fearful, and weak replica of its former self. We must carefully look at all of the ramifications of this proposed change because the health and the lives of our patients are in jeopardy.
"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
Martha Collins, B.A. (Hon.), D.C.