News Staff
Northwestern Chiropractic Program Mandates COVID Testing of all Students

Is Mandated Vaccination Next for These Students?

According to an announcement from Katie Burns Ryan DC, Director of Clinical Services at the College of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University, students will be mandated to undergo COVID testing after the first of the year. The school instituted voluntary testing following Thanksgiving break so they could work out the kinks and be ready once the new year begins and students return to campus.

Ryan, who is a chiropractor, stated in her email:

"Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, growing accessibility to testing, and recommendations from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, the University is going to start requiring testing in January 2021."

In addition to the required testing Ryan stated they would also be doing "random testing throughout the winter term."

Ryan further stated ". . . the intent of the testing is to identify asymptomatic individuals who are on our campus."

There is no mention of the problems with testing and its reliability. Nor does Ryan mention the violations of personal autonomy associated with mandatory testing. Further ignored is the widespread understanding that asymptomatic individuals pose little risk.

What makes her announcement concerning is that this ignorance of the issues is coming from a Health Sciences University - never mind a chiropractor and a chiropractic program.

Students have started a petition in response to Dr. Ryan's mandatory testing asking signers to:

"Protect health privacy and freedom for Northwestern Health Sciences University students and employees".

CLICK HERE to view the petition

The petition also cites Minnesota Statutes 12.39 which states:

INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT; NOTICE, REFUSAL, CONSEQUENCE.

┬žSubdivision 1.Refusal of treatment. Notwithstanding laws, rules, or orders made or promulgated in response to a national security emergency or peacetime emergency, individuals have a fundamental right to refuse medical treatment, testing, physical or mental examination, vaccination, participation in experimental procedures and protocols, collection of specimens, and preventive treatment programs. An individual who has been directed by the commissioner of health to submit to medical procedures and protocols because the individual is infected with or reasonably believed by the commissioner of health to be infected with or exposed to a toxic agent that can be transferred to another individual or a communicable disease, and the agent or communicable disease is the basis for which the national security emergency or peacetime emergency was declared, and who refuses to submit to them may be ordered by the commissioner to be placed in isolation or quarantine according to parameters set forth in sections 144.419 and 144.4195.

Subd. 2.Information given. Before performing examinations, testing, treatment, or vaccination of an individual under subdivision 1, a health care provider shall notify the individual of the right to refuse the examination, testing, treatment, or vaccination, and the consequences, including isolation or quarantine, upon refusal.

Dr. Ryan's notice regarding the mandatory testing does not state whether this informed consent (required by the law) will be used when forcing the tests or how they will force those who refuse into isolation and quarantine.

In regards to the loss of personal autonomy, issues related to consent and medical paternalism, the students assert:

"Students are forced to choose between their health freedom and privacy, or give those up in order to complete their degree. Many students have little choice but to proceed with this testing due to $12,000-$200,000 in debt."

The students go further and allege the use of "financial coercion" in order to get them to submit to the forced testing.

Its fairly well known in chiropractic education adminstration circles that once a student is far along enough in the program they have accumulated enough debt that leaving or transferring is no longer an option. Add to this the inherent problems within the chiropractic educational programs that make transferring difficult even in the best of circumstances and you have a defacto hostage situation.

Adding to the fear is the possibility that the COVID vaccine would be made mandatory for students, faculty and staff. Northwestern is known for promoting and even providing flu shots in its clinics and community.

SEE RELATED STORY

It seems such a move would have support from the leadership at the school. For example, Michele Maiers DC, MPH is a member of the President's cabinet at Northwestern and she is also one of the lead authors of the infamous World Federation of Chiropractic's now discredited document on chiropractic and immunity.

CLICK HERE for more on that story

Maiers is also a leader within the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) which endorsed the WFC document. The ACA has softened its stance against vaccination over the years to appease organized medicine and the WFC has come out openly in support of mass vaccination.

Further, there were reports in the past year involving Maiers that student activity fees at Northwestern were being used to automatically sign students up to be student ACA members. According to emails involving senior leadership (including Maiers) at Northwestern obtained by the Chronicle, the scheme appears to involve students automatically being signed up as members of the ACA whether they ask to or not. Then in order to be removed as an ACA member the student would have to contact the ACA and rescind their membership - one they did not sign up for. The email chain shows Maiers was the apparent ringleader of this scheme which resulted in a complaint being filed with the US Department of Education. Students questioned whether or not student loan money was being used to support these forced memberships to the ACA.

The COVID testing petition urges all students, faculty and alumni to let the University know that this was a bad decision and not in anyone's best interests.

With so many options to choose from in terms of chiropractic schools the good news for these students is that they have options where their fundamental rights to personal autonomy are not compromised and they are not used as pawns to further the interests of a trade organization favored by school leadership.

McCoy Press