January 15, 2010 — In September 2006, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) filed a lawsuit against the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE).
The suit was filed in an effort to nullify the board’s rules that permit doctors of chiropractic to perform needle electromyography (EMG) and spinal manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). TMA further challenged the legality of licensed DCs to render a diagnosis as a part of their scope of practice.
Naturally, the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) immediately entered the melee as a co-defendant.
On Nov. 24, Judge Stephen Yelenosky ruled that both procedures are outside the scope of practice for doctors of chiropractic in Texas. He also “granted in part as to the Chiropractic Board’s use of the word ‘diagnosis’ in its rule.”
However, the court reserved judgment regarding ‘diagnosis’ as it relates to scope of practice.
“There is no statutory definition of the word, and its ordinary meaning is the identification of the nature or cause of a condition, which is not different substantially from ‘evaluation’ or ‘analysis’. The issue is not the word, but the scope of practice –diagnosis of what and for what purpose” stated Judge Yelenosky.
Judgment was reserved and expert testimony will be heard on TMA’s claim that to construe the statute to “permit particular rules of diagnosis would impermissibly allow the TBCE to authorize the practice of medicine.”
In an effort to support the TBCE and TCA, the ACA Board of Governors has authorized the National Chiropractic Legal Action Fund (NCLAF) to allocate up to $10,000 in funds to combat the lawsuit.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org