American Chiropractic Association: Chiropractic Profession Supports Patients' Right to Know Benefits, Risks of All Treatments

Jan 04, 2010, 08:00 ET from American Chiropractic Association

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) today expressed its support of a patient's right to be informed of the benefits and risks of any health care treatment as the Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners begins testimony Tuesday on the issue of informed consent.

When testimony ends, the board is expected to make a determination of what information chiropractic physicians should include as part of an informed consent discussion with patients before beginning treatment.

"Informed consent is already mandatory for all health care professionals in Connecticut and the chiropractic profession fully supports a patient's right to be informed of the benefits and risks of any type of health care treatment - not just chiropractic treatment," said ACA Vice President Dr. Keith Overland, who practices in Norwalk, Conn. "Legislation or regulations governing informed consent should apply to all health care providers in equal measure."

"Limiting new informed consent regulations to one treatment or one health care professional is not in a patient's best interest and would leave patients with less information, not more," Dr. Overland added.

In respect to informed consent, it is ACA's position that there is no substitute for a confidential, in-person discussion between a doctor and a patient. Each patient has his/her own individual questions and circumstances that deserve individual attention.

"A regulation or a signature on a consent form is not a satisfactory substitute for individual attention and discussion," said Dr. Overland.

The American Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractors Association, the Connecticut Chiropractic Association, the Connecticut Chiropractic Council and other chiropractic organizations have policies that support informed consent for chiropractic treatments; chiropractic colleges teach informed consent to their students; and doctors of chiropractic are expected to inform patients of the material benefits, risks and options for contemplated treatment and document this in writing.

ACA, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

SOURCE American Chiropractic Association