MONTREAL - On Feb. 25, 2005, the Court of Appeal of Québec confirmed the "right and duty" of chiropractors to perform diagnoses of the neuromusculoskeletal system.Exactly two years after a Superior Court judgment denied this right, following a challenge by, among others, the Québec College of Physicians and Surgeons, the three judges of the Court of Appeal - the Honorable Jean-Louis Baudouin, JCA, Benoit Morin, JCA, and Andre Rochon, JCA - reversed the Superior Court decision.
The president of the Quebec Order of Chiropractors (L'Ordre des Chiropraticiens du Québec), Dr. Normand Danis, declared that this judgment will assist efforts to protect the public and enhance the development of chiropractic in the fields of diagnostic research and technology:
"The decision by Québec's highest court ends a seven-year battle against the Québec College of Physicians and Surgeons. The college's statement concerning its monopoly on diagnosis is now a thing of the past, and the chiropractic profession in Québec is once again harmonized with the rest of North America in this regard.
"This court decision will have a major impact on all the other files that were on hold, like the recognition of the chiropractic doctorate at the Unviversité du Québec in Trois-Rivéires and the research activities in the diagnostic and high technology fields.
"The decision will also accelerate negotiations with the Workers Compensation Board and automobile accident victims' insurance coverage for direct access to chiropractic care.
"In short, this long and costly legal battle has been very demanding on the Québec Chiropractic Profession, but we now have a proud and autonomous profession."
Also raised in the judgment was the issue of laboratory tests; this may be dealt with in the new Chiropractic Act, which is expected under the reform of Quebec's professional legislation on private-sector health care, including dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, etc.
- Court of Appeal confirms chiropractors' right and duty to perform diagnoses. Press release courtesy of Dr. Normand Danis, president, L'Ordre des Chiropraticiens du Québec, Feb. 28, 2005.
- Sacre bleu! Judge rules against chiropractic: Quebec DCs lose right to diagnose, order lab tests. Dynamic Chiropractic, April 21, 2003: www.chiroweb.com/archives/21/09/26.html.