Christine Anderson, D.C. Facing Disciplinary Action
The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners has accused Christine Anderson, D.C. of using misleading advertising and and practicing beyond chiropractic's legal scope. The challenged claims include:
- The best way to help children who have an ear infection is to boost their immune system through the use of homeopathic remedies.
- Children vaccinated against childhood diseases are more likely to contract those diseases as an adult.
- Chiropractic adjustments help the immune system function at 100% capacity.
The complaint (shown below) also challenged Anderson's use of homeopathic remedies, flower remedies, homeopathic consulting, fertility/infertility counseling, allergy testing, bioenergetics testing, hair analysis, functional nutrition, and other services that fall outside the scope of Chiropractic practice.
Anderson operates the Kid Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Los Angeles.
BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
In the Matter of the Accusation Against:
CHRISTINE ANDERSON, D. C.
Chiropractor License No. DC-20869
Case No. 2006-536
1. Catherine A. Hayes (Complainant) brings this Accusation solely in her official capacity as the Executive Director of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
2. On or about September 24, 1990, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners issued Chiropractor License No. DC-20869 to Christine Anderson, D. C. (Respondent). The Chiropractor License was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein and will expire on December 31, 2006, unless renewed.
3. This Accusation is brought before the Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Board), under the authority of the following sections of the Chiropractor Act (Act).1
1The Chiropractic Act, an initiative measure approved by tile electors on November 7, 1922, while not included in tile Business and Professions Code by the legislature, is set out in West's Annotated California Codes as sections 1000-1 to 1000-19, and is included in Deering's California Codes as Appendix I, for convenient reference.
4. Section 102 of the Act states, in pertinent part, that the Board may suspend or revoke a license to practice chiropractic or may place the license on probation for violations of the rules and regulations adopted by the Board or for any cause specified in the Chiropractic Initiative Act.
2The Chiropractic Act, an initiative measure approved by the electors on November 7, 1922, while not included in tile Business and Professions Code by tile legislature, is set out in West's Annotated California Codes as sections 1000-1 to 1000-19, and is included in Deering's California Codes as Appendix I, for convenient reference.
5. Section 10, subdivision (b), of the Act states, in pertinent part, that Board may refuse to grant, or may suspend or revoke, a license to practice chiropractic in this state, or may place the licensee upon probation or issue a reprimand to him, for violation of the rules and regulations adopted by the board in accordance with this act, or for any cause specified in this act, including, but not limited to whose services he or she is, will treat, cure, or attempt to treat or cure, any venereal disease, or will treat or cure, or attempt to treat or cure, any person afflicted with any sexual disease, for lost manhood, sexual weakness or sexual disorder or any disease of the sexual organs; or being employed by, or being in the service of any person, company or association so advertising.
6. California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 304, states:
"The revocation, suspension, or other discipline by another state of a license or certificate to practice chiropractic, or any other health care profession for which a license or certificate is required, shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action against a chiropractic licensee or grounds for the denial of chiropractic licensure of an applicant in this state."
7. California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 302, states:
"(a) Scope of Practice:
"(4) A chiropractic license issued in the State of California does not authorize the holder thereof:
"(A) to practice surgery or to sever or penetrate tissues of human beings, including, but not limited to severing the umbilical cord;
"(B) to deliver a human child or practice obstetrics;
"(E) to use any drug or medicine included in materia medica;
"(5) A duly licensed chiropractor may employ the use of vitamins, food supplements, foods for special dietary use, or proprietary medicines, if the above substances are also include din section 4057 of the Business and Professions Code, so long as such substances are not included in materia medica as defined in section 13 of the Business and Professions Code.
"The uses of such substances by a licensed chiropractor in the treatment of illness or injury must be within the scope of the practice of chiropractic as defined in section 7 of the Act."
8. California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 311, states:
"Constructive educational publicity is encouraged, but the use by any licensee of advertising which contains misstatements, falsehoods, misrepresentations, distorted, sensational or fabulous statements, or which is intended or has a tendency to deceive the public or impose upon credulous or ignorant persons, constitutes grounds for the imposition of any of the following disciplinary penalties:
"(a) Suspension of said licensee's right to practice in this State for a period not exceeding one (1) year.
"(b) Placing said licensee upon probation.
"(c) Taking such other action, excepting the revocation of said licensee's license, in relation to disciplining said licensee as the board in its discretion may deem proper."
9. California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 317, states:
"The board shall take action against any holder of a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct which has been brought to its attention, or whose license has been procured by fraud or misrepresentation or issued by mistake.
"Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
"(m) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting in the violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision or term of the Act or the regulations adopted by the board thereunder;
"(p) The use of advertising relating to chiropractic which violates section 17500 of the Business and Professions Code;
"(q) The participation in any act of fraud or misrepresentation;
"(x) The offer, advertisement, or substitution of a spinal manipulation for vaccination. "
10. California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 317.5, subdivision (a), states, in pertinent part:
"In any order in resolution of a disciplinary proceeding before the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the board may request the administrative law judge to direct a licentiate found to have committed a violation or violations of the Chiropractic Initiative Act to pay a sum not to exceed the reasonable costs' of the investigation and enforcement of the case."
FIRST CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Use of Advertising Containing Sensational or Fabulous Statements)
11. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under section 10 and section 10, subdivision (b), in conjunction with California Code of Regulations, title 16, section s 311 and 317, subdivisions (p), (q) and (x), in that Respondent's advertising contains misstatements, falsehoods, misrepresentations, distorted, sensational and/or fabulous statements with the intention and/or tendency to deceive the public regarding her chiropractic practice as follows:
a. Respondent advertises that she received her "Diploma in Homeopathy" from the British Institute of Homeopathy, which program is entirely "home study" and a correspondence course. Homeopathy is not taught in accredited chiropractic colleges in the State of California.
b. Respondent advertises that the best way to help a child who has an ear infection is to boost their immune system through the use of homeopathic remedies. She also claims that misalignments of the spine will decrease the body's healing capacity. There is no forensic or scientific evidence to support these statements.
c. Respondent advertises that vaccines are not proven to be effective or safe and that they weaken the immune system. She further states that cbi1dren vaccinated with childhood diseases are likely to contract those diseases as an adult. This is a distorted, sensational misstatement.
d. Respondent advertises that chiropractic adjustments help the immune system to function at 100% capacity. Respondent further states that one may have adequate white blood cells, but without stimulation from the nervous system they will not act. This statement is unsupported by scientific evidence.
e. Respondent advertises that the use of chiropractic manipulation and the "neuro emotional technique" are effective infertility treatments. Respondent states that the neuro emotional technique is a technique that is invaluable when dealing with infertility. There is no forensic or scientific evidence to support these statements.
f. Respondent advertises that the use of "surface electromyography ("SEMG") and thermography can detect stuck patterns of nerve interference caused by sub1uxations. The American Association of E1ectrodiagnostic Medicine states that there are no clinical indications for the use of SEMG in the diagnostic treatment of disorders of nerve or muscle. The California Chiropractic Board states that SEMG should be limited to research purposes and considered investigational.
g. Respondent advertises that labor time can be decreased as a result of receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy. She also states that chiropractic adjustments can enhance the functioning of the placenta to ensure that the baby is receiving an optimum amount of nourishment for proper growth and development. She further states that chiropractic care can help with complications that arise during pregnancy and is beneficial in high-risk pregnancies. There is no forensic or scientific evidence to support these statements.
h. Respondent advertises the practice of "breech turning protocol" during the final two weeks of pregnancy as taught by Dr. Webster. The breech turning protocol described by Dr. Webster is unsupported by scientific evidence.
i. Respondent advertises that subluxation may cause fallopian tube malfunction, may result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy, and that endometriosis may result. She further states that ovarian function may also be compromised with resulting problems with egg maturation and egg release during ovulation. Respondent further states that in men, subluxation can cause problems with penile and testicular function, and also with sperm production, maturation, erection and flow of sperm. These statements are false and unsupported by scientific evidence.
j. Respondent states that infant car seats lack support of the neck because whenever the car is stopped and then accelerated, their heads go forward and back and side to side, which can cause vertebrae to sub1uxate. She further states that "emotional and toxic stress, another cause of vertebral sub1uxations, is becoming a bigger issue for kids today as they try to cope with common scenarios like divorce, violence and peer pressure. II These statements are misrepresentations, exaggerations and sensational statements, which are scientifically unsupported.
k. Respondent advertises that regular chiropractic spinal checkups during pregnancy can detect and eliminate the restrictions to the baby's development. She further states that because the nervous system controls and coordinates every function in the body, regular chiropractic care starting at birth (or preferably in utero) absolutely helps children to grow up healthier and happier. These claims are misrepresentations, distortions, and sensational and fabulous statements, which are scientifically unsupported.
l. Respondent states that it is important for kids to have their spines checked from birth onward and that the only professional qualified to do this is a chiropractor. This is a false, distorted misstatement.
m. Respondent advertises that the use of non-invasive Bioenergetic testing can determine which foods and/or environmental factors one has allergies to. This is a distorted, sensational misstatement in that Bioenergetic testing/Meridian Stress Assessment is investigational and experimental, and is not taught in accredited chiropractic colleges as a viable diagnostic tool. Respondent further advertises that the use of chiropractic technique can desensitize a person from specific allergies. This statement is distorted and sensational in that no such technique exists.
n. Respondent advertises that" chiropractors are specialists when it comes to bones, muscle, and nerves." This statement is a falsehood, misrepresentation and misstatement in that chiropractors are not specialists.
SECOND CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Beyond the Scope of Practice)
12. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under section 10 in conjunction with California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 302, in that Respondent advertises that she provides the following services: homeopathic remedies, flower remedies, homeopathic consulting, fertility/infertility counseling, allergy testing, bioenergetics testing, hair analysis, Doula & Birth support services, functional nutrition and other services which fall outside the scope of Chiropractic practice. A chiropractic license does not authorize the holder to deliver a human child, to practice obstetrics, or to use any drug or medicine included in materia medica.
WHEREFORE, Complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged and that, following the hearing, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners issue a decision:
1. Revoking or suspending Chiropractor License No. DC-20869 issued to Christine Anderson, D. C.
2. Ordering Christine Anderson, D. C. to pay the Leonard of Chiropractic Examiners the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of this case pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulations, section 317.5;
3. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper.
Board of Chiropractic Examiners
State of California
This page was posted on August 20, 2007.