In a recent research paper published by the Chiropractic Journal of Australia, Ken Harvey MB BS, FRCPA an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, calls the concept of subluxation “discredited chiropractic vitalistic dogma.”
In the paper: A critical appraisal of evidence and arguments used by Australian chiropractors to promote therapeutic interventions, Harvey states:
“The suggestion that spinal adjustment removes potential neural irritations or blockages between the brain and the body, allows the body to function the way it is designed to, and thus cures or relieves various non-musculoskeletal conditions invokes the discredited chiropractic vitalistic dogma of subluxation.”
Harvey goes on in his paper to assert that children have no need to be checked by a chiropractor after birth stating that its doubtful birth trauma has resulting neurological effects.
“In short, the totality of the literature casts doubts on the existence of a Traumatic Birth or KiSS syndrome and fails to provide good evidence to substantiate the claims that all children should be examined by a chiropractor immediately after birth.”
The paper is written in response to the upheaval taking place in Australia over ignorance by regulatory authorities, chiropractors and other health care providers on the concept of evidence based practice. Harvey’s paper repeats the same mistaken notion that in an evidence based model you can only manage people when there are high level studies such as randomized controlled trials.
If what Harvey says is true, then the majority of health care providers on this planet need to stop what they are doing and close up shop. The level of ignorance demonstrated in his paper on the science of chiropractic is appalling and is an embarrassment to the journal for publishing such nonsense. It is shocking that it got through peer review considering who is on the Editorial Board of the journal.
The deeply flawed paper reveals Harvey has problems even searching the peer reviewed literature never mind interpreting it. He admits more than once that he could not find some of the actual research papers he was criticizing and asserts that some of the research he reviewed is “old” suggesting that “old” research is bad research.
According to the paper, Harvey was a member of the expert group that drafted the World Health Organization’s “Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion”. His interest in ethical promotion led to involvement in a number of Australian government reviews on the regulation of therapeutic goods promotion and complementary medicines. He currently represents consumer interests (as a nominee of the Australian Consumers’ Association) on the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaint Resolution Panel and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code Council. He is also an Executive member of Friends of Science in Medicine.
According to the journal’s website: The Chiropractic Journal of Australia (CJA) is a peer-reviewed journal of record dedicated to the advancement of chiropractic science, principles and practice and seeks to fulfil this purpose by critical review and publication of research and scholarly works relating to the scientific bases and clinical applications of chiropractic, and supportive presentations of an educational and/or professional nature.