Chiropractor Ordered to Stop Making Subluxation-Based Claims


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
November 28, 2019

In 1998, the Virginia Board of Medicine, which includes chiropractors within its scope, ordered Jesus Eduardo Castaneda, D.C. to attend an informal conference to discuss whether an advertisement he had placed in 1996 was “false, misleading, and deceptive to the public.” At that time, Castaneda practiced in Lynchberg, Virginia as “Dr. Ed Castaneda.”
The board’s notice expressed concern about several claims in the ad:

  • Vertebral subluxation robs your cells, organs and tissues of vital nerve energy, which in turn produces poor health, disease, and death.
  • Chiropractic adjustments are safer than medical treatment of back pain, and headaches.
  • The weight of evidence supports Chiropractic as more scientific as compared to only 15% of medical treatments.
  • Chiropractic care leads to better health, without drugs or surgery, for people who suffer from spinal curvature, poor posture, stress/anxiety, fatigue, sore muscles, dizziness, headache, and poor response to medical treatment.

At the hearing, Castaneda told the conference committee that he did not intend to mislead the public and would no longer advertise in this manner. As noted below, the board concluded that his advertisement had violated board regulations. However it applied no sanction because he had “taken appropriate corrective action.” Castaneda relocated to Texas, where he now identifies himself as Jesus Castaneda.

In 1996, another chiropractor sent Castaneda a letter criticizing an ad similar to the one for which he was disciplined. The chiropractor does not recall whether he also sent a copy to the board.


VIRGINIA:

BEFORE THE BOARD OF MEDICINE

IN RE:
JESUS EDUARDO CASTANEDA, D.C.
License No.: 0104-000735

ORDER

In accordance with Sections 54.1-2919 and 9-6.14:11 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended (“Code”), an informal conference was held with Jesus Eduardo Castaneda, D.C., on Thursday, April 2, 1998, in Roanoke, Virginia. Members of the Virginia Board of Medicine (“Board”) serving on the Informal Conference Committee (“Committee”) were: Jerry Willis, D.C., Chairman; Robert Berry, M.D.; and Anthony Moore. Dr. Castaneda appeared personally and was not represented by legal counsel. The purpose of the informal conference was to inquire into allegations that Dr. Castaneda may have violated certain laws governing the practice of chiropractic in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as set forth in a Notice of Informal Conference dated February 19, 1998.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Now, having properly considered the evidence and statements presented, the Committee makes the following Findings of Fact:

1. In March 1996, Dr. Castenada caused to be published an advertisement in the Lynchburg, Virginia area that is false, misleading, and deceptive to the public. Specifically, he stated that:

  1. “Vertebral subluxation robs your cells, organs and tissues of vital nerve energy” which in turn “produces poor health, disease, and death.”;
  2. “Chiropractic adjustments are safer than medical treatment of back pain, and headaches.”; and
  3. “The weight of evidence supports Chiropractic as more scientific as compared to only 15% of medical treatments.”

2. Dr. Castaneda stated that chiropractic care leads to better health, without drugs or surgery, for people who suffer from Spinal Curvature, Poor Posture, Stress/Anxiety, Fatigue, Sore Muscles, Dizziness, Headache, and Poor Response to Medical Treatment.

3. Dr. Castaneda referred to himself as a “Chiropractic Specialist” without disclosing the complete name of the specialty board which conferred the title or certification.

4. Dr. Castaneda offered a complete spinal exam and “the necessary X-rays” for $50, without stating the full value of the discounted services. He also advertised free consultation and ”possible savings of up to $150″ without specifying the value of a regular consultation and exactly what is included in the savings offer.

5. Dr. Castaneda stated to the Committee that he did not intend to mislead the public with his advertisement. He further stated that he removed the advertisement and no longer advertises in this manner.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Based on the foregoing Findings of Fact, the Committee concludes that Dr. Castaneda is in violation of Sections 54.1-2403 and 54.1-2915.A(3), as further defined in Section 54.l-2914.A(9) and (12) of the Code, Sections 18 VAC 85-20-30(C) and 18 VAC 85-20-60(B) of the Virginia Board of Medicine Regulations.

ORDER

WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and in view of the information presented by Dr. Castaneda, which established that he has taken appropriate corrective action, it is hereby ORDERED that NO SANCTION be imposed upon Dr. Castaneda’s license to practice chiropractic in Virginia.

Pursuant to Section 9-6.14:14 of the Code, the signed original of this Order shall remain in the custody of the Department of Health Professions as a public record, and shall be made available for public inspection and copying upon request.

Pursuant to Section 54.1-2919 of the Code of Virginia 1950, as amended, Dr. Castaneda may, not later than 5:00 p.m., on May 11, 1998, notify Warren W. Koontz, M.D., Executive Director, Board of Medicine, 6606 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230, in writing that he desires a hearing before the Board. Upon the filing with the Executive Director of a request for the hearing, this Order shall be vacated.

Therefore, this Order shall become final on May 11, 1998, unless a request for a hearing is received as described above.

FOR THE BOARD

_____________________
Warren K. Koontz, M.D.
Executive Director
Virginia Board of Medicine

Entered: April 5, 1998