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Stop chiropractic neck manipulation!
Canadian regulations must be changed!
Canadians visit chiropractors about thirty million times a year, and surveys show that patients are generally satisfied with them. But Paul Benedetti and Wayne MacPhail have another opinion. Their hard-hitting CANOE.CA web site called Spin Doctors I & II were instrumental in educating the public about the excesses of some chiropractors. This book took years to write, and it is a must read for anyone who plans to go for chiropractic treatment, or who pays for insurance that covers it.
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Reaction to Canadian Stroke Studies
Examining Vertebrobasilar Artery Stroke in Two Canadian Provinces
Sharon Mathiason's letter to the
Globe and Mail
Supplementary Research Studies
Spine. 33(4S) Neck Pain Task Force Supplement:S170-S175, February 15,
Boyle, Eleanor PhD; Cote, Pierre DC, PhD; Grier, Alexander
R. DC, MBA; Cassidy, J David DC, PhD, DrMedSc
"Chiropractors don't raise stroke risk, study says" by
CAROLINE ALPHONSO January 19, 2008 issue of the Globe and Mail. She based the article on a series of articles that will appear in the next issue of the medical journal Spine on February 15th.
SHARON J. MATHIASON
316 NIDEROST STREET
Tel: (306) 931-8491
Fax: (306) 933-9768
January 20, 2008
CHIROPRACTIC NECK MANIPULATION IS DEADLY AND UNECESSARY
It saddens me on this the tenth memorial year since the death of my young
daughter to think that another young woman may believe the article about the
chiropractic "study" published in the Globe and Mail. The article is
completely accepting of the "study" so much so it looks like the reporter
works for the Canadian Chiropractic Association who actually initiated the
study. This conflict is never raised by the reporter.
The headline "Chiropractors donít raise stroke risk, study says" is false
and dangerous. Women and men who believe it could also end up dead as did my
daughter Laurie Jean Mathiason, Lana Dale Lewis and Pierrette Parisien, just
to name a few. Think of it, three Coroner reports all on the same subject,
in Canada alone, all saying the same thing - neck manipulation kills -
particularly young women. This is the very tip of the iceberg. Sixty years
of scientific publications from just about every country and in every
respected journal from the Mayo Clinic to the Canadian Medical Association
Journal all states this clearly. You can find it on the website
This "study" basically claims that strokes caused by chiropractic neck
manipulation are the fault of the patient. My daughter walked into a
chiropractorís office, had her neck manipulated for lower back/tailbone pain
and started to bleed into her brain right on the table. They claimed my
daughter died because her left vertebral artery was bigger than her right,
yet this is a normal anatomical arrangement in almost all people. All of
the diagnostic investigations done on stroke victims, as seen by MRI and CT
scan show that none of the victims who died or had strokes due to
chiropractic neck manipulation had congenital aneurysms. A few did have some
different patterns in the arteries which are equally common in everyone.
This is all the more reason never to manipulate the neck. Without the
unnecessary neck manipulations all the stroke and death victims would still
be living happy, productive lives.
This "study" follows the record of chiropractic studies that are as much
quackery as their neck manipulations on everyone from newborn babies to
senior citizens for so-called vertebral subluxations which simply do not
exist. The inquest into the death of Lana Dale Lewis exposed these studies
for the scam they are. One "study" claiming that neck manipulation could
not cause a stroke was done on 80-99 year old cadavers with a chiropractor
gently moving the head through a limited range of motion. The best this
study could prove is that dead people canít have a stroke and die again due
to chiropractic neck manipulation.
The Globe and Mail reporter also quotes as fact the other "study" completely
debunked at the Inquest, namely that the risk of stoke was 1 in 5.85 million
manipulations. This "study" was done by a malpractice insurance company
salesman, also a chiropractor, who based his statistics on those who
actually sued. If you did not sue, the stroke did not happen. According to
this logic we know the number of AIDS cases in Africa, not by blood tests,
but by the number of babies who have sued their mothers for feeding them
breast milk with the AIDS virus in it.
This new "study" itself is a review of billing records. No patient charts or
tests were examined. There was no new scientific data. The authors took 819
strokes and then used billing records to see who had seen a doctor in the
past year and who had seen a chiropractor. Considering that billing payments
were very limited for chiropractors in Ontario and now thank God have been
completely eliminated, this is a very poor record of the actual number of
visits to a chiropractor. Did the scientists not realize this simple
Of course, the strokes caused by the chiropractors happened in their offices
while none happened in the office of the doctors. Where did they tell us
that? According to the logic of this study, if my daughter Laurie or anyone
else saw your medical doctor in January and then had a stroke in December
after having a neck manipulation, it did not count against the chiropractor.
Almost everyone has seen their doctor within a year. You would get the same
result if she had stopped at McDonaldís to buy a hamburger and then went to
The Globe and Mail is also negligent in not identifying the principal
author, David Cassidy, as a chiropractor, one who has been sued in
Saskatchewan, in 1999, by his research assistant for falsifying data, and
one whose work is stated in the New England Journal of Medicine as "all of
the studyís authors conclusions are completely invalidated by their
David Cassidy, before he was dismissed from the University of Saskatchewan,
was called as an "expert" witness by the Chiropractic Association of
Saskatchewan (CAS) at my daughterís inquest. In the Globe and Mail article
co-author David Cassidy is quoted "Has it ever happened that a chiropractor
has caused a stroke? I canít say itís never happened. But if itís
happening, itís not happening at a greater risk than when it is at a GP
Well guess what, chiropractor David Cassidy admitted on the stand into the
death of my daughter they he had manipulated the neck of a woman and caused
a stroke, a very severe one called Wallenbergís syndrome. Did he say it
never happened because this poor woman also saw her doctor in the past year?
I doubt if he has ever seen a patient coming out of a doctor's office having
a stroke after a neck manipulation.
There would be no greater gift in memory of my daughter and all the others
for government to impose a scientific standard on highest neck manipulation
just as standards exist for all medications. This would eliminate 99% of all
chiropractic highest neck manipulations. Victims who need help can write to
our organization at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon J. Mathiason