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Hold on!! A Question of Risk?

Decades ago, while acting as a chiropractic lobbyist I was told by a government medical officer that chiropractic could not be integrated into public health because of “a question of risk”.    

In a classic example of turning fact upon its head, he insinuated that medicine poses a far lesser risk to patients than chiropractic does. His comment, “a question of risk” started me on the astonishing journey of discovery that very, very few people take. 

Like most people, I had not given any thought to  what is called iatrogenesis, the toll arising from deaths and permanent harm arising from medical treatment as distinct from the patient’s disorder. Without thinking about it, I wrongly assumed that the evidence based medical profession and the government would maintain accurate data defining that death toll. 

Neither the federal governments nor evidence based medicine keep accurate data defining Australia's annual iatrogenic toll. 

Try asking key media and government people: "In your opinion, what is Australia's annual iatrogenic toll? Bye the bye, what is your own guesstimate of Australia's annual iatrogenic toll?

A total lack of data defining a nation's iatrogenic toll is why the following authors used public domain medical literature. 

1)        Australia’s investigative journalist, John Archer’s 1995 book, Bad Medicine is based upon some of the public domain medical data about ‘iatrogenesis’. John guesstimated that there may be about 50,000 iatrogenic deaths and 750,000 permanent injuries per year in Australia.   I phoned John to suggest 50,000 seemed to be excessive.  He told me that he stood by his references and to check them.

Such an iatrogenic toll, accumulating over decades might dwarf the cumulative number of deaths of Australian defence force personnel that occurred during combat, in all of the wars in which Australia has been a combatant. And, the media's silence thunders! 

2)     I do not know how authentic the extensive research of public domain medical literature relating to iatrogenic harm by 3 MDs and 2 PhDs was, but their 2004 report boggles the mind. “The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US".  

If “a question of risk” is a deciding factor in which profession patients who have subluxation related disorders should be able to have direct Medicare funded access to:

•           The iatrogenic epidemic precludes medicine as a primary choice. 

•           When compared to the annual iatrogenic toll, even though chiropractic poses some serious risks, it is by far the safer management of choice for subluxation related disorders.  

Throughout Australia, legislation effectively supports a great wrongdoing because it:

•           Confines those public patients who have subluxation related disorders to the real risks of medical management of their symptoms

•           Denies them direct Medicare funded access to less risky chiropractic correction of the subluxations causing those symptoms. 

As a lobbyist I provided key people in government with adequate data to ensure they are aware of the foregoing. Their continued support of this great wrongdoing is an informed decision. 

Watch for other instances where medical spokespersons turn fact upon its head. 


I ask our patients to let me know of any errors in the foregoing.   The “Hold On” series of articles debunk some red herrings. Please read and network them.


Michael McKibbin DC


Archer, John. Bad Medicine: How Safe Is Modern Medicine. Simon and Schuster Australia, East Roseville, NSW. 1995. P184


Your Chiropractor

Michael McKibbin passed his Iowa Basic Science and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa.

Since then both wonderful staff and patients have contributed toward decades of valued experience in his family practice.


October 2010
This is the October 2010 newsletter.

JC Smith Response Australia Letter