Chiropractic Antitrust Suit: Summary of Injunction

The American Medical Association and its 275,000 members, when working in concert with the AMA, were permanently enjoined today by United States District Court Judge Susan Getzendanner from “restricting, regulating or impeding or aiding and abetting others from restricting, regulating, or impeding the freedom of any AMA members or any institution or hospital to make an individual decision as to whether or not that AMA member, institution, or hospital shall professionally associate with chiropractors, chiropractic students, or chiropractic institutions.”

The Order of P*rmanent Injunction issued by the Court requires the AMA to send copies of the Order of Injunction to each of its 275,000 members, to modify the official AMA Judicial Council Opinions and Reports to reflect the AMA’s representations to the Court that it is now “ethical for a medical physician to professionally associate with chiropractors provided the physician believes that such an association is in the best interest of its patient,” and to publish the Injunction Order in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The AMA, which in 1963 commenced working aggressively, in the words of the Court, to “overtly and covertly” eliminate the profeseion of the United States, found itself on the day the injunction was issued precisely where it was in 1963 – standing alone. In the lost three days prior to the issuance of the Court’s injunction against the AMA, codefendants American College of Radiology and the American College of Surgeons reached settlement agreements with the four plaintiff chiropractors terminating the litigation as to them in return for policy statements of those organizations to their members affirming the right of their members to freely associate with doctors of chiropractic in hospitals, private practice, research, educational endeavors and any other legal setting.

Both the ACS and the ACR made payments of $200,000.00 – the ACS payment being made to Kentuckiona Children’s Center in Louisville, Kentucky, a home for mentally and physically retarded children, which, the evidence in the trial demonstrated, was the victim of a concerted effort by various medical associations to either close the Center or forbid medical physicians to cooperate with the Center’s founder Dr. Lorraine Golden, a chiropractor, in the health care of the children. With the support of the City of Louisville, Kentuckiano has just launched an aggressive expansion program to build new facilities to care for up to 1,000 mentally and physically retarded children and the $200,000.00 gift by the American College of Surgeons is the first contributions to the fund drive for the expansion.

The $200,000.00 payment by the American College of Radiology was to help defray the plaintiff chiropractors’ legal expenses in bringing the suit.

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