Victims of Chiropractic

Donald Paulin
August 5, 2010

Victims of Chiropractic (V.O.C.) is a support network and clearinghouse for reliable information on chiropractic’s hazards and foibles. Our educational outreach also includes basic information on the psychology of quackery and human vulnerability. V.O.C. was founded in 1991 by George J. Magner, III, author of Chiropractic: The Victim’s Perspective [1]. I assumed leadership in 1997, shortly before Magner’s untimely death from colon cancer.

Malpractice risks

Peter J. Modde, D.C., a chiropractor who began speaking out publicly about chiropractic’s shortcomings during the 1970s, warned that:

Chiropractic is based on a false theory. Its practitioners are inadequately trained in diagnosis, and most do not know their limitations. . . .

Since chiropractors are licensed as “doctors,” most people who consult them expect to be “properly medically diagnosed.” Patients also assume that if their problem is beyond the scope of chiropractic, they will be referred to an appropriate practitioner. . . . The more the patient relies on the chiropractor for diagnosis of his case, the more vulnerable he will be. Patients who use chiropractors as their primary physicians, either because they don’t know any better or because they have been turned off by orthodox medical care, run the greatest risk [2].

In 1985, Modde produced a lengthy book about his experiences in investigating more than a hundred cases of alleged malpractice by chiropractors. In it he concluded that chiropractic education had improved greatly, but that serious problems remained [3].

Chiropractic’s educational system has continued to improve but remains significantly inferior to medical training [4]. In addition, many schools still imbue their students with “philosophy” that leads them astray.

V.O.C. supports the the use of appropriate, evidence-based spinal manipulation but opposes the quackery and pseudoscience that are rampant among chiropractors. The problems we have encountered include:

  • Strokes caused by neck manipulation
  • Paralysis from spinal collapse related to an undiagnosed tumor
  • Overstretching of spinal joints
  • Spinal fractures from overly vigorous manipulation
  • Other neurologic injuries
  • Financial exploitation related to excessive numbers of visits
  • Use of a quack diagnostic device
  • Improper nutrition assessments
  • Sale of dubious dietary supplement concoctions
  • Megavitamin toxicity
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Deaths related to inappropriate advice to stop necessary medical treatment.

To understand the magnitude of chiropractic’s dark side, I suggest reading Magner’s book and contacting me if you feel you have been victimized.

  1. Magner GJ III. Chiropractic: The Victim’s Perspective. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 1995.
  2. Modde PJ. Malpractice is an inevitable result of chiropractic philosophy and training. A chiropractor charges: Chiropractic is based on a false theory and its practitioners are inadequately trained in diagnosis. Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, February 1979, pages 20-23.
  3. Chiropractic Malpractice. Del Mar, Calif.: Hanrow Press, 1985.
  4. Nelson CF. Chiropractic: Scope of practice. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics16:488-497, 1993.

Mr. Paulin, who is a teacher, consumer advocate, and victim, can be contacted at Victims of Chiropractic, 12777 Garden Grove Blvd. #306, Garden Grove CA 92843 Phone (714) 590-8506. To receive an information packet, send a self-addressed business-size envelope stamped with 61¢ postage. His e-mail address is donpaulin4 (at)

This page was revised on August 5, 2010.