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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON CHIROPRACTIC AND DRUGLESS HEALING HELD… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1932]

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
REPORT
OF  THE
EOYAL COMMISSION
ON
CHIROPRACTIC AND
DRTJGLESS HEALING
Held under the Provisions
of the
PUBLIC INQUIRIES ACT"
PRINTED BY
AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1932.  REPORT OF COMMISSION ON CHIROPRACTIC AND
DRUGLESS HEALING.
To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council:
Your Commissioner, appointed to make certain inquiries as hereinafter set out, begs leave to
report as follows :—
The Commission, authorizing such inquiries as originally issued omitting formal parts,
read:—
" In the Matter of the ' Public Inquiries Act.'
"A COMMISSION.
" To the Honourable Mr. Justice Murphy, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Supreme
Court of British Columbia.
" R. H. Pooley, (VXTHEREAS there are divers persons who have carried on the practice of
Attorney-General, j ""     chiropractic in British Columbia for a substantial period of time:
" Whereas the provisions of section 33 of the ' Medical Act' have never been invoked; and
there is controversy about the efficacy and justness of said section: it is deemed expedient to
inquire as follows :—
" First: (a.) To ascertain (or to determine by what means it should be ascertained) who of
those now practising as chiropractors in the Province are duly qualified chiropractors within the
meaning of the ' Medical Act':
"(6.) To inquire whether or not any or all of the recognized schools or colleges of chiropractic, within the meaning of the ' Medical Act,' of which the said duly qualified chiropractors
now practising in the Province are graduates, give courses in the subjects required for the
practice of chiropractic which are adequate to protect the public when undergoing from such
persons treatment solely confined to the practice of chiropractic:
"(c.) To recommend such legislation as may be deemed requisite to provide for the registration of such duly qualified chiropractors now practising in the Province, so that their practice
for reward may be legalized when confined solely to chiropractic, and to provide for their control
and regulation in the interest of the public:
" Second: To recommend in the interests of the public the method of determining the
qualifications to permit subsequent applicants to practise chiropractic, including the Board by
whom the same shall be determined and the method and the extent of the examinations of such
applicants; and in particular whether or not such qualifications shall be determined and
examinations set by a Board comprised solely of those duly qualified chiropractors already
authorized to practise, or by a Board comprised in part of members of the College of Physicians
and Surgeons:
" And whereas His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, by and with the advice of his Executive
Council, hath deemed it expedient to cause an inquiry to be made into the extent and nature
and effect of the practice of drugless healing (other than chiropractic) in all its branches in
the Province of British Columbia, and the nature of the legislation which may be necessary or
advisable for the purpose of regulating and controlling the registration of drugless healers in
the Province of British Columbia, and generally into all matters properly incidental to the
foregoing:
" Now know ye, therefore, that reposing every trust and confidence in your loyalty,
integrity, and ability, We do by these presents, under and by virtue of the powers contained in
the ' Public Inquiries Act,' being chapter 114 of the ' Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1924,'
and in accordance with an Order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, dated the tenth day of
September, a.d. 1931, appoint you, the Honourable Mr. Justice Murphy, sole Commissioner to
inquire into the matters above set forth and referred to, and to recommend in accordance therewith, and to deal with the same in the order in which such matters are above set forth and
referred to.
" And We direct you, the said Commissioner, to report in writing the facts found by you to
Our Lieutenant-Governor of Our said Province immediately or as soon as conveniently may be after you shall have concluded such inquiry, with such recommendations as you may see fit
to make."
Sittings were held in the City of Vancouver on November 30th, December 3rd, 10th, 14th,
15th, 16th, 17th, 1931;  February 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 11th, 1932.
Mr. H. B. Robertson, K.C., and Mr. A. B. Robertson appeared for the College of Physicians
and Surgeons of British Columbia.
Mr. J. W. deB. Farris, K.C., and Mr. G. S. Wismer appeared for the British Columbia
Chiropractors' Association, and Mr. Mark Cosgrove for the British Columbia Institute of Sani-
practic and Naturopath Practitioners, an incorporated body, whose membership includes a large
majority of the drugless healers practising in the Province.
A few individuals appeared on their own behalf.
Announcements were publicly made on several occasions inviting any one interested to
appear and testify, and assurances were publicly given that the Commission would sit elsewhere
in the Province if such a course was shown to be advisable to facilitate a full and complete
inquiry.    No application for such sittings was received by your Commissioner.
At the first sitting the question of the scope of the Commission came up for consideration.
Your Commissioner ruled that the wording of the Commission required him to make the inquiries
set out therein, and to base his recommendations on the principle that chiropractic was to be
accepted by him as a recognized science of healing and that any examination of its efficacy or
of its relative merit as compared with medicine did not fall within the scope of the task assigned
to him.
On this ruling being made, counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British
Columbia applied for an adjournment with a view to representing to the Lieutenant-Governor
in Council the desirability of enlarging the scope of the Commission. The adjournment was
granted. Your Commissioner was subsequently informed that such application had been made
but not entertained.
On November 3rd, 1931, your Commissioner received from the Honourable the Provincial
Secretary a certified copy of an Order in Council which read :—
" THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
P. Walker, Deputy Clerk, Executive Council.
"Certiiied Copy of a Minute of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 28th Day of October, a.d. 1931.
" No. 1339.
" To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council:
"■ The undersigned has the honour to recommend that Order in Council No. 1158, approved
on the 10th day of September, 1931, appointing the Honourable Mr. Justice Murphy, one of His
Majesty's Justices of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a sole Commissioner to inquire
into matters concerning chiropractic and drugless healing, be amended by striking out the words
' and effect' after the words ' and that it is deemed expedient to inquire into the extent and
nature ' in the seventh paragraph thereof.
" Dated this 22nd day of October, a.d. 1931.
" S. L. HOWE,
Provincial Secretary.
" Approved this 22nd day of October, a.d. 1931.
" S. F. TOLMIE,
Presiding Member of the Executive Council."
On the sittings being resumed a further question as to the scope of the Commission arose,
necessitating the interpretation of that portion of section 33 of the " Medical Act" which reads:
" That a recognized school or college of chiropractic shall be deemed to be an institution which
teaches a residence course of three years of six months each or more."
Your Commissioner ruled that this was a legal question which must be decided on the rules
of law applicable to the construction of Statutes, and decided that the section required study of
at least six months in each of three different calendar years. CHIROPRACTIC AND DRUGLESS HEALING COMMISSION. Q 5
Counsel for the British Columbia Chiropractors' Association thereupon applied for an
adjournment to give him an opportunity to apply to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for an
alteration of the Commission in connection with such ruling.    The adjournment was granted.
On January 9th, 1932, your Commissioner received from the Honourable the Provincial
Secretary a certified copy of a further Order in Council, which read:—
"That Order in Council No. 115S, approved on the 10th day of September, 1931, appointing
Honourable Denis Murphy, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a
sole Commissioner to inquire into matters concerning chiropractic and drugless healing, which
said Order in Council was amended by Order in Council No. 1339, approved on the 23rd day
of October, 1931, be further amended by adding the following to clause (6) of the Commission
issued in pursuance of the said Order in Council No. 1158:—
" ' For the purposes of the said inquiry the words " a residence course of three years of
six months each or more" in section 33 of the " Medical Act" shall be deemed to mean
" a residence course of three periods of six months each or more running consecutively or
otherwise." '
" Dated this 5th day of January, a.d. 1932.
" S. L. HOWE,
Provincial Secretary.
" Approved this 5th day of January, a.d. 1932.
"R. H. POOLEY,
Presiding Member of the Executive Council."
The inquiry then proceeded on the basis of the rulings hereinbefore set out, except in so far
as same were altered by the recited Orders in Council. Your Commissioner, therefore, desires
to state that this report, in so far as it deals with chiropractic unmixed with sanipractic, is
based on the premise that the Commission issued to him required that the standard to be
used throughout the investigation must be that standard which duly qualified chiropractors
(as defined by the amended Order in Council) recognize as being the proper standard to be
attained to qualify persons to practise chiropractic.
Questions of the efficacy of chiropractic or of its relative merit as compared with medicine
were not open to be considered. In particular no inquiry was to be made as to the adequacy
or otherwise from the standpoint of protection of the public of the accepted chiropractic
training for diagnosis of disease, nor of the accepted chiropractic method of treating human
ailments.
The first inquiry directed to be made by your Commissioner is:—
"(a.)  To ascertain  (or to determine by what means it should be ascertained)  who of
those now practising as chiropractors in the Province are duly qualified chiropractors within the meaning of the ' Medical Act.' "
Owing to the time and expense involved in any attempt to ascertain the individuals among
those now practising in the Province who are duly qualified chiropractors within the meaning
of the " Medical Act" as interpreted by the Order in Council above cited, the alternative task,
of determining by what means it could be ascertained who such persons are, was undertaken.
The evidence shows that there are a number of such duly qualified chiropractors in the
Province.
It is recommended that all persons who are graduates of the institutions named in the
answer hereinafter given to paragraph (b) of the Commission, and who claim to come within
this group, be required in the legislation hereinafter recommended to send, within a given time,
their diplomas to the Honourable the Provincial Secretary, or to some similar authority,
accompanied by a statutory declaration proving identity and actual attendance as a student at
one of such institutions for three periods of six months each or more running consecutively or
otherwise.
Next, your Commissioner is directed:—
"(6.) To inquire whether or not any or all of the recognized schools or colleges of
chiropractic, within the meaning of the ' Medical Act,' of which the said duly
qualified chiropractors now practising in the Province are graduates, give courses
in the subjects required for the practice of chiropractic which are adequate to
protect the public when undergoing from such persons treatment solely confined
to the practice of chiropractic." Q 0 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
According to the evidence, the following schools or colleges meet these requirements: The
Palmer School of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa; Universal Chiropractic College, Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania ; National School of Chiropractic, Chicago, Illinois; Pacific Chiropractic College,
Inc., Portland, Oregon; Seattle College of Chiropractic, Inc., Seattle, Washington; Seattle
College of Chiropractic (Vancouver Branch), Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia.
With regard to the last-named institution (now out of existence), the evidence is not as
full as your Commissioner would desire, but on the whole he is of opinion that the tuition
given by the institution did come up to the chiropractic standard as hereinbefore defined.
Following the determination of these questions, your Commissioner is requested :—
"(c.) To recommend such legislation as may be deemed requisite to provide for the
registration of such duly qualified chiropractors now practising in the Province,
so that their practice for reward may be legalized when confined solely to chiropractic, and to provide for their control and regulation in the interest of the
public."
To prevent misapprehension, your Commissioner desires to repeat with all possible emphasis
that throughout this report the standard applied to the solution of the problems involved is
that above set out, since in his opinion as expressed in rulings made at the sittings the scope
of the Commission required this to be done.
The evidence shows that the theory of the cause of disease, according to chiropractic, is
diametrically opposed to the theory entertained by the medical profession. The chiropractic
theory as enunciated in evidence is " that the movable segments of the spine should be in
perfect alignment in order to have perfect health. The nerve-bundles that make up the nerves
that go from the spinal cord out into the tissues of the body come out through openings called
foramen, and if there is any slipping of the vertebra?, such slipping changes the shape of the
opening sufficient to make pressure upon these nerves and in this way cuts down the mental
impulses to the tissues served by such nerves. Chiropractors feel that there is a healing-power
in the brain of 100 per cent., and if it is allowed to travel over the nerves and to get to the
tissues they will be 100 per cent, perfect, if it is not impeded or interfered with in any way.
Chiropractors speak of this pressure on the nerves as an interference and the percentage of
health is cut down in ratio to the amount of interference." The slipping-out of normal line of
a vertebra is in chiropractic parlance termed a " subluxation." " Chiropractic theory makes
no claim to cure disease. The disease is allowed to get well as a result of removing subluxation, or at least modifying it so as to end pressure on the nerves."
The medical theory as likewise set out in evidence is that " disease originates from various
causes, not from one single cause; that the cause, for instance, of pneumonia is different from
the cause of diphtheria; that the cause of diseases of the valves of the heart is totally different
from the cause of the different types of disease of the muscles of the heart," and so on with
regard to each particular disease. " The medical profession does not believe that all disease
has a common basis."
As the practice of each profession is based on its theory, the consequence is that the course
of training and the methods of treatment adopted by the chiropractic and the medical profession
are poles apart. Since chiropractic holds that practically all diseases, other than those resulting
from physical injury, originate in subluxations of the vertebrce, fundamentally the chiropractor
does not require to make a diagnosis of diseases at all. What he is concerned with is the
location and correction of one or more subluxations, and nothing else. Whilst his training to
detect subluxations is intensive, he does not study the diagnosis of disease to anything like
the degree that the physician must, since the latter holds that diseases may have a great
number of causes, and since the cause must be known if the treatment is to be successful.
The chiropractic student does no dissection of the human cadaver. This statement requires
the qualification that the Universal Chiropractic College of Pittsburg demands that the student
do a small amount of dissection and that the National College of Chiropractic of Chicago lays
much stress upon dissection, but according to the evidence these institutions in this particular
do not represent the accepted standard of chiropractic training. No bedside or hospital training is required of the chiropractic student. The only clinical training he receives is directed to
an examination of the spine to enable him to discover subluxation.
Diagnosis, then, has a very different meaning to the chiropractor from what it means to
the physician. To the chiropractor it means the discovery of subluxation. Fundamentally, for
the purpose of treatment, he is not concerned as to what disease his patient is suffering from. CHIROPRACTIC AND DRUGLESS HEALING COMMISSION. Q 7
To the physician the recognition of the particular disease is all-important,  since upon such
recognition depends the treatment he will adopt.
It is true that diagnosis in the sense of recognition of disease is to some extent taught in
chiropractic schools, but the reason for this is not, primarily, that it is necessary for the
practice of chiropractic. It may be an aid to the chiropractor in locating subluxation, but
again it may not, since there may be no direct connection by nerves or otherwise between the
seat of the disease and the position of the subluxation in the spine. The chiropractor locates
the subluxation by palpation with his fingers of the bony projections of the vertebrae. He
uses X-ray pictures of the spine as an aid, but palpation is the real test. The reasons given
in evidence why diagnosis forms part of the curriculum of chiropractic apart from being of
possible assistance in locating subluxations are: First, the protection of the public (presumably
mainly in reference to infectious and contagions diseases) ; second, in order to enable the
chiropractor to inform the patient what disease he is suffering from; third, for the chiropractor's own satisfaction in knowing what disease he is treating; and, fourth, to enable
chiropractors to meet the requirements of the law with regard to granting death certificates.
Chiropractic began in 1895 with a curriculum occupying six months, or involving six
months' study. About 1902 this was extended to twelve months, and about 1917 to eighteen
months. Since .1928, in the Palmer Institute, the parent institution of chiropractic, the tuition
has been extended to include the use of many mechanical aids to diagnosis, ordinarily used
by physicians, such as the stethoscope, the sphygmomanometer (an instrument for measuring
blood-pressure), the clinical thermometer, etc. The use of these aids is now taught in the other
institutions mentioned in answering paragraph (6). The evidence is not definite as to when
such tuition was introduced.
It seems to your Commissioner a fair deduction from the evidence that the increase in
the length of the tuition course, and the greater emphasis now laid on diagnosis, in the medical
sense (as shown by the introduction of the use of mechanical aids thereto), which characterizes
present-day chiropractic, has come about not because either is regarded as necessary for the
practice of chiropractic, but because it was expected that legal recognition of chiropractic would
thereby be facilitated.
The foregoing findings on the evidence have been made not to contrast the medical and
chiropractic schools of thought, but to explain the reasons for the recommendations herein set
out in answer to paragraph (o) and to the second heading of the Commission dealing with
chiropractors.
Because of the widely divergent attitudes of the two schools, your Commissioner recommends that the provisions of the " Medical Act" dealing with chiropractors be repealed. He
recommends that a separate Act incorporating chiropractors be passed. For reasons hereinafter given when dealing with drugless healers, such Act should deal solely with chiropractors.
Chiropractors now practising in the Province and found qualified by the methods set out in
answer to paragraph (a) should be made members of such body corporate. The Act should
provide for a ruling body similar to that in the " Medical Act" for physicians, with analogous
powers as to registration, annual licence, discipline, and so forth. It should provide likewise
for legal collection of fees and for prohibition of the practice of chiropractic by unregistered
persons.
Again, because of the great divergence in the point of view of chiropractors and physicians
as to the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, and because your Commissioner is of
opinion that, owing to the comparatively recent rise of chiropractic, it may fairly be said that
in the public mind such words as " doctor," " physician," and other words or letters used to
designate members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons connote to the public such dealing
with disease as is adopted by the medical profession, the proposed Act should contain a prohibition of the use of any such words or letters by chiropractors to designate their profession.
Your Commissioner is of opinion that the use of such words or letters, even in conjunction with
other words or letters indicating the profession of chiropractic, might have a tendency to mislead the public. Of course, no imputation is intended that chiropractors would make use of
such words or letters for such purpose, nor, for that matter, that they desire to use them at
all.    The evidence is silent on this point.
The Act should prohibit the prescribing or administering of drugs or medical preparations
by chiropractors, and the practice by them of midwifery and surgery, since admittedly they do
not receive the requisite training. Q 8 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Three matters cropped up in the evidence which your Commissioner deems it his duty to
mention, but without comment or recommendation, as they do not fall within the scope of the
Commission:—
First: There are individual chiropractors who stand high in their profession, who unless
they undergo further collegiate training will not be able to take the examinations hereinafter
recommended as a condition precedent for membership in the proposed body corporate, because
at the time they attended college the required course was less than three periods of six months
each. Both medical and chiropractic witnesses agree that, given initial training, experience in
actual practice in a profession may and probably will increase the skill and knowledge of a
practitioner. On the other hand, a large number of drugless healers practising in the Province
use chiropractic as an adjunct to drugless healing. The evidence is not sufficient to justify any
conclusion as to the training they receive in chiropractic, nor as to the extent they utilize it
in their practice even if these matters were open for consideration.
Second: Chiropractors treat all contagious and infectious diseases. In the case of diphtheria (but apparently only in diphtheria cases) a chiropractor requires that a physician be
first called in to administer treatment (antitoxin). The chiropractor will then, proceed with
his own treatment.
Third: Chiropractors expect to be authorized to perform the duties imposed upon individual medical practitioners under the " Health Act" and the " Vital Statistics Act," including
the issuance of death certificates.
Your Commissioner is next directed:—
" Second: To recommend in the interests of the public the method of determining the
qualifications to permit subsequent applicants to practise chiropractic, including
the Board by whom the same shall be determined and the method and the extent
of the examinations of such applicants; and in particular whether or not such
qualifications shall be determined and examinations set by a Board comprised
solely of those duly qualified chiropractors already authorized to practise, or by
a Board comprised in part of members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons."
As the scope of the Commission does not authorize your Commissioner to consider the case
of chiropractors now practising in the Province other than those duly qualified in the sense
hereinbefore set out, he feels bound to recommend that the proposed legislation should require
all others, whether now practising or hereinafter desirous of practising chiropractic, to pass an
examination within some definite period before the Board, the creation of which is hereinafter
recommended. Every applicant, as a condition precedent to taking such examination, should
be required to file with the Board of Examiners satisfactory evidence of good moral character
and of preliminary education equivalent at least to that represented by the completion of the
third year in high school.
It is true the Palmer School requires no standard of education as a condition to entrance to
its classes, and that your Commissioner has found that that institution gives courses which
justifies it being recognized, but in many jurisdictions where chiropractic has been legally
recognized some such preliminary standard of education is required, and it would seem to your
Commissioner that successful study of the subjects hereinafter recommended to be made subjects
for examination for admission to the practice of chiropractic would call for prior mental training
at least of the standard proposed.
In addition, applicants should be required to furnish proof satisfactory to the Board of
attendance for three periods of six months, each running consecutively or otherwise, as a student
at one of the institutions set out in the answer to paragraph (6), or at such other institutions
as the Board shall decide to recognize.
Applicants should be examined on at least the following subjects: Anatomy, physiology and
histology, bacteriology, general diagnosis, including symptomatology, pathology, neurology,
chemistry, sanitation and hygiene, and the principles and practice of chiropractic. According
to the evidence, a knowledge of these subjects is required by present-day chiropractic, not as to
many of them, as has already been stated, because they are fundamentally necessary to the
practice of chiropractic, but for the other reasons hereinbefore set out, of which the principal
in the view of your Commissioner is the protection of the public.
As to the constitution of the Board of Examiners, in view of the requirements of the Commission that your Commissioner must accept chiropractic as a recognized science in the treatment CHIROPRACTIC AND DRUGLESS HEALING COMMISSION. Q 9
of disease, and in view of what has been said in answer to paragraph (c) of the Commission,
as to the wide divergence of views between medical men and chiropractors with regard to the
cause, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, in the opinion of your Commissioner there can be
but one conclusion. Medical standards required in such subjects proposed for examination as
are nominally common to the training for both professions differ not only in degree, they differ
in character from chiropractic standards. To the medical man a thorough knowledge of them
all, and of many other subjects besides, is absolutely essential. To the chiropractor, even a
superficial knowledge of them is not fundamentally necessary to equip him to treat disease.
Some of them may be useful to him as aids in locating a subluxation and in naming a particular
disease, and some of them are necessary that he may practise without endangering the public
at large. As stated, disease from his standpoint has a single origin—subluxation of the spinal
vertebrae. Once more to guard against misapprehension, your Commissioner repeats that the
terms of the Commission preclude him from making any investigation as to whether or not the
chiropractic standard in reference to the proposed subjects for examination does adequately
protect the public.
For all these reasons your Commissioner recommends that the Examining Board be made
up exclusively of duly qualified chiropractors. The method of selection of the proposed Board
of Examiners does not fall within the scope of the Commission. The matter is, therefore, not
dealt with further than to direct the attention of those who will frame the proposed legislation,
if the recommendations herein made are acted upon, that the first Board will have to deal with
a large number of persons who have heretofore been practising chiropractic in the Province
either exclusively or in connection with drugless healing. It may, therefore, be a question for
consideration whether or not the first Board of Examiners, at any rate, should not be selected
from the duly qualified chiropractors by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council rather than by
election by members of the proposed body corporate. These will be comparatively few in number,
so far as appears from the evidence.
The Board should be authorized to grant recognition to such institutions in addition to those
named in the answer to paragraph (6) as in their judgment gives a proper course in chiropractic, provided such course is not less than three periods of six months each running consecutively or otherwise.
The next task set your Commissioner is:—
" To inquire into the extent and nature of the practice of drugless healing (other than
chiropractic) in all its branches in the Province of British Columbia, and the nature
of the legislation which may be necessary or advisable for the purpose of regulating
and controlling the registration of drugless healers in the Province of British
Columbia, and generally into all matters properly incidental to the foregoing."
Dealing first with the extent of the practice of drugless healing, the evidence is that there
are in British Columbia seventy-two drugless healers who are members of the Institute of
Naturopathic and Sanipractic Physicians (an incorporated body under the "Friendly Societies
Act"), treating an average of thirty patients daily, and in addition that there are thirty other
practitioners who are not members of that body. All these persons are in active practice. In
addition, there are some thirty persons who confine themselves to the practice of chiropractic
exclusively. Of the seventy-two members of the institute, forty-six utilize chiropractic, but not
exclusively. Sixteen others practise sanipractic and eight are nature-cure practitioners,
although the distinction between these two classes is nebulous. Two specialize in electrotherapy
and corrective exercise. All apparently have taken courses of study in all of the branches of
drugless healing hereinafter enumerated.
No evidence was given as to what branch of drugless healing the thirty non-members of the
institute are engaged in nor the extent of their practice, except that a witness estimated that
4,000 persons in the Province are taking drugless healing daily. In this estimate is included the
patients of practitioners confining themselves exclusively to chiropractic.
Drugless healers undertake the treatment of all but surgical and midwifery cases. In
particular they treat all infectious and contagious diseases.
To ascertain from the evidence what is the theory of disease on which drugless healing in
all its branches is based is a difficult task, because the evidence adduced on this feature was
markedly indefinite in contrast with the clear-cut evidence adduced by chiropractors on the
same aspect.    It is beyond dispute, however, that whilst accepting chiropractic  as a proper Q 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
method of treatment in some cases, drugless healers do not accept its doctrine that disease
originates exclusively from subluxation of the vertebra! of the spine. In the view of the drugless
healers, to quote the language used in evidence, " this is obviously not so." According to one
witness, the chief cause of disease from the drugless healers' view-point is imperfect nutrition.
Disease, he stated, must infer unclean blood and lack of vitality. According to another,
" disease is a tissue state or a condition of the cell units of the body; the individual cells become
so diseased in the tissue of the different organs of the human anatomy that that organ cannot
function, and what is termed disease is the inability of these tissue units or cells in the body
to function normally. The underlying principle or underlying philosophy of nature cure is that
the blood-cells in the tissues are not functioning normally and therefore must be treated to
restore them to their normal function." These statements sum up the drugless healers' theory
of disease in so far as your Commissioner can gather it from an intensive study of the evidence.
It is likewise difficult to ascertain from the evidence what are all the methods of treatment
covered by the term " drugless healing." So far as your Commissioner can ascertain, they may
be enumerated as follows :—
(a.) Chiropractic as hereinbefore defined, if the drugless healer finds such treatment
indicated, but not otherwise.
(6.) The administration of medicines (termed in drugless healing " sanitive agents")
derived from roots, herbs, and leaves, but excluding all narcotic and poisonous drugs, synthetic
drugs, and drugs derived from minerals, and also excluding the use of all serums, vaccines, and
antitoxins. These sanitive agents are regarded as food rather than as remedies. They supply
to the cells of the body that which these cells need to restore them to normal function. From
200 to 300 varieties of herbs, roots, and leaves are utilized as the sources from which to obtain
these medicines or sanitive agents.
(c.) The regulation of diet, including fasting; the prescribing of various forms of physical
culture, for building up the body, including physical exercises such as corrective and orthopsedic
gymnastics ;   massage and the use of fresh air and sunlight.
(d.) The use of electricity, both direct and alternating current of both high and low
frequency; of various forms of light, including the mercury lamp, infra red, violet, ultraviolet,
and X-rays, and the use of water and heat in various ways.
If your Commissioner understands the standard of drugless healing aright—and he admits
he may not owing to the hazy nature of the evidence on this point—a qualified practitioner from
the drugless healing standpoint is one who receives such a training as enables him to utilize
any or all of the curative agents above enumerated, though he may specialize in some particular
branch to the possible exclusion of some, if not of all the others.
Passing now to the other heading of the inquiry bearing on drugless healing—namely,
" The nature of the legislation which may be necessary or advisable for the purpose of regulating
and controlling the registration of drugless healers in the Province of British Columbia, and
generally into all matters properly incidental to the foregoing "—this aspect calls for consideration under two heads :—
(a.) In the public interest should any alteration be made in the present law in the case of
drugless healers who propose to diagnose and treat disease on their own responsibility.
(b.) Should legislative protection be given to drugless healers on what may be termed the
mechanical side of their practice—namely, massage, operation of electrical apparatus, use of
light, etc.—when the use of such instrumentalities have been prescribed by a legally authorized
practitioner.
Dealing with (a) first, each witness called on behalf of the drugless healers admitted the
necessity of diagnosis as a sine qua non to treatment by drugless healers. Unlike those who
practise chiropractic exclusively, drugless healers hold that a disease must be recognized before
it can be effectively treated. Some of the witnesses did state that drugless healers diagnose
disease from a different view-point from that of the physician. AVhen pressed, however, to
state how or why this should alter the standard of knowledge requisite for proper diagnosis
as adopted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, they failed to give any satisfactory
reason, contenting themselves with declaring that under no circumstances would drugless
healers take qualifying examinations set by medical men.
The basic sciences used in the admittedly necessary diagnosis, such as anatomy, physiology,
chemistry, etc., are, so far as appears from the evidence, the same whether diagnosis is to be
made by a medical man or by a drugless healer.    It follows that, so far as appears from the CHIROPRACTIC AND DRUGLESS HEALING COMMISSION. Q 11
evidence adduced before your Commissioner—and he, of course, can act on nothing else—
there is no reason why another and (unless all modern scientific advance in these subjects is
to be ignored, unless, indeed, these sciences are to be regarded largely as myths) a lower
standard for examination in them should be set for those who propose to treat disease as
drugless healers and who admit the necessity of diagnosis. As an example, a knowledge of
anatomy is admittedly basic to diagnosis, whether made by drugless healers or by physicians,
yet so far as appears from the record no drugless healers (except such as are graduates of the
National College of Chiropractic of Chicago and to a much less extent graduates of the Universal
Chiropractic College of Pittsburg)  dissect the human cadaver or any part of it.
On the evidence, your Commissioner is convinced that a proper knowledge of anatomy
cannot be acquired without such dissection. He is fortified in this conclusion by the pronouncement contained in the calendar of the National College of Chiropractic of Chicago that
a course of dissection is essential to the proper teaching of anatomy.
Most of the curative agents above enumerated are utilized by the medical profession in
the sense that they are prescribed when indicated. The actual administration is done by
trained experts, mainly medical, but not always, as, for instance, in the case of massage.
Since section 34 of the present " Medical Act" provides for examination by a drugless
healer in relation to the principles and practices of drugless physicians, your Commissioner
is of the opinion for the foregoing reasons that in the public interest no change should be
made in the existing law when the applicant for examination proposes to treat disease on his
own responsibility.
On the second heading of protection to persons skilled in the use of what may be termed
the mechanics of such drugless healing, your Commissioner sees no objection from the standpoint of public interest why such legislation should not be enacted. It is pointed out on behalf
of the drugless healers that such protection has been given by the Legislature to barbers and
others. Presumably because legislation of this character is not what is primarily desired
by drugless healers, the evidence adduced bearing on it is scanty. The claim for such legislation was, however, made in counsel's argument.
Your Commissioner is consequently not in a position to make recommendations in detail
as to the form of such legislation should it be decided to enact it. The evidence does show
that some of these agencies may be injurious if unskilfully applied or if utilized without proper
knowledge of their effects on the human body.
The only recommendation your Commissioner feels justified by the evidence in making on
this aspect is that the Board of Examiners which presumably would be set up should include
only persons who are not only adept in the technical handling of such agencies, but who are
well informed as to the possibilities of injury which might result from their use.
The Commission, amending Orders in Council, transcript of the evidence, and exhibits are
forwarded herewith.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
DENIS MURPHY,
Commissioner.
Vancouver, B.C., February nth, 1932.
victoria, B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1932. 

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