Death is a REALITY that may culminate WITH or WITHOUT doctor intervention. Whether a medical doctor prescribes or withholds a prescription, the end result may be DEATH. If a surgeon chooses to perform a surgical procedure or chooses to abstain, the patient may DIE either way. If a chiropractic physician chooses to perform a spinal adjustment or chooses to abstain, the patient may DIE as a result.
Explaining “WHY” the patient passed can sometimes be difficult due to the complexity of the human body and the various factors that influence outcomes. In many cases, the answers are NOT simply CAUSE and EFFECT. Lifestyle, genetics and environment are three factors that can greatly compromise therapeutic treatments meant to improve the quality of life. Unfortunately, this means that QUALITY THERAPEUTIC TREATMENTS can still result in DEATH.
The public, however, has a right to honest credible information regarding unfortunate outcomes including DEATH. Often, the media is more interested in the tabloid version than the TRUTH because it provides better ratings. The “written word” even has a slogan, “if it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t read!” This irresponsible reporting of news can cause the consumer to become INTIMIDATED and FEARFUL from seeking doctors capable of providing the BEST OPTIONS AVAILABLE for various health problems.
The latest media frenzy is about Katie May, a 34 year old model that died on February 4, 2016 after going to a chiropractor with neck pain caused by a fall. Ms. May was seen by a chiropractor for two office visits and died several days later. The cause of death was ruled a stroke (specifically, a vertebral artery dissection.)
ANY details about her medical, family and social history,
her chiropractic physician’s examination findings
specific information on the treatment provided
I can assure the readers of this article that the medical reports claiming this event “was caused by a cervical manipulation” unlikely reveals the ENTIRE TRUTH. As I stated earlier in this article, “answers are not always as simple as CAUSE and EFFECT.” The odds that a chiropractic adjustment (performed by a licensed chiropractic physician) would cause a stroke are 1 in 5.85 MILLION. (Ref: Arterial dissections following cervical manipulation) Of course, it is always possible she was the ONE unfortunate case in MILLIONS OF TREATMENTS PERFORMED.
The written and visual media have reported this tragedy in a manner that incites FEAR and ANXIETY (for their own gain.) In doing so, it attempts to reduce the therapeutic value of the cervical adjustment so many people have benefited from. Look at the following chart to see the TRUTH in statistical deaths from CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS and other MEDICAL CAUSES OF DEATH:
In addition to the above statistics, more women die each year from complications associated with birth control medications than ANY type of chiropractic adjustment. Interestingly, we don’t see the media running stories or interviewing doctors on network news stations questioning their moral concerns about writing prescriptions to HEALTHY WOMEN that may cause health complications INCLUDING DEATH.
A woman taking the pill is 1.9 times more likely to die from cerebrovascular disease (stroke.) “The 25 year follow-up study with 46,000 British women also notes that the enhanced risk of death lasts for 10 years after women have stopped taking the pill.” (Ref: Mortality associated with oral contraceptive use)
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, “A new report suggests that while women taking birth control pills — even the newer, low-dose forms — are at higher risk of stroke.” “Women taking them were nearly twice as likely as non-users to suffer a stroke.” (Ref: Birth Control Pill Stroke Risk)
In a Cochrane study it was reported, “the overall risk of arterial thrombosis (blood clot) was 1.6-fold increased in women using oral contraceptive pills compared with women who did not use oral contraceptive pills.” (Ref: The risk of heart attack and stroke in women using birth control pills)
Now, for those of you questioning my ability to honestly and fairly judge a professional colleague as well as the efficacy and safety of chiropractic health care I offer
FROM A SURPRISING INDUSTRY.
We may not always like insurance companies, but most of us agree their methods for determining premiums favor THEIR MONETARY INTERESTS over our own. Using COMMON SENSE, if cervical adjusting was a “high risk procedure,” wouldn’t premium charges for MALPRACTICE INSURANCE for chiropractic physicians reflect this risk? Wouldn’t it make sense for these malpractice insurance carriers to SPECIFICALLY ask the doctor/applicant whether cervical adjusting was going to be a therapeutic service offered in their practice IF THIS PROCEDURE WOULD INCREASE THEIR RISK OF LIABILITY?
When I was in practice, my final annual malpractice premium (paid on 12/3/2013) was $888.00 for 3 million dollars of malpractice coverage per incident. The average annual premium for a medical family physician practicing in North Carolina averages $8,462 for LESS COVERAGE per incident (1 million.) Specialists can pay upward of $80,000 annually. (Ref: Malpractice Coverage For Doctors)
It appears the insurance industry (responsible for paying for injuries and deaths caused by their chiropractic and medical physician policy holders) has concluded that cervical spinal adjusting is a SAFE therapeutic procedure for correcting spinal related health problems and reflect this trust in the LOWER PREMIUMS they require for coverage.
Please don’t let the media and their personal agendas as well as the medical profession cause you FEAR and OUTRAGE. The motives are surely for their benefit RATHER THAN YOUR OWN. I no longer have “skin in the game” as a retired doctor. No one asked me to write this post to share the TRUTH with all of you. I had to speak out, because my profession has helped save the quality of more lives than people realize. I personally, performed cervical adjustments for over 20 years EVERY WORKING DAY without causing ANY injury! In actuality, I helped people avoid surgery and remove the need for medications by correcting the ROOT CAUSES of their symptoms using chiropractic care as part of the treatment protocol.
I am truly sorry for the passing of Katie May. I offer her family and friends my prayers and thoughts as they continue to grieve over this tragic event.
BUT IN MY HEART, I TRULY BELIEVE CHIROPRACTIC HEALTH CARE IS AN IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY SERVICE THAT ADDS QUALITY TO LIFE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE.
I just couldn’t sit quietly on the sidelines. I feel I would have done a disservice to all those people considering chiropractic care as well as those currently under care searching for TRUTH and not knowing where to turn or whom to trust.