The American Chiropractic Association has a code of ethics.
What is the ACA?
The ACA, or American Chiropractic Association, represents chiropractors. It is the largest US professional association to do so. Its goals are to contribute to “the health and well-being…of chiropractic patients” and to promote “the highest standards of ethics and patient care”. The ACA also lobbies for legislation that benefits chiropractors, and it provides “educational opportunities” and “supports research”.1 The ACA also works to enhance the positive image of the chiropractic profession. The American Chiropractic Association, and the members of the organization, specialize in a treatment model promoting wellness, instead of a focus on disease. Chiropractors follow a “conservative…hands-on” approach to healthcare.2
ACA Code of Ethics
Like the medical profession, the ACA also has a Code of Ethics. The ACA Code of Ethics has 14 Tenets. Doctors of Chiropractic are meant to have excellent standards and to use “best practices”. In addition, the DCs should follow high standards for personal and professional conduct, complying with all laws, regulations, and rules. The relationship between doctor and patient is based on trust, cooperation, and “mutual respect”. This means that DCs need to be honest with patents about their condition and not mislead them or promise false results. Additionally, all education, credentialing, and qualifications must also be represented honestly to the patient. Unless the law has other requirements, patient confidentiality must be respected. DCs need to make sure that patients understand their treatment options so that they can make their own decision about proposed treatments. One tenet states that sexual misconduct is a violation of the public trust and patient-doctor relationship. When necessary, chiropractors should “seek the talents of other health care professionals”, whether the patient makes the request or whether the situation would benefit from such outside consultation. Patients should also not be abandoned or neglected; if treatment is being withdrawn, “due notice should be afforded” so that “continuity of care (is) arranged”. DCs can choose their patients (unless there is an emergency situation), just as patients can choose their healthcare professional. A tenet in the ACA Code of Ethics makes clear that the chiropractors’ choices of patients “should not be based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, creed, gender, handicap or sexual preference”. DCs must also report any “professional impropriety” they discover, just as their own behavior should not appear to have “professional impropriety”. Public trust is important. Finally, chiropractors are obligated “to help others acquire knowledge and skill in the practice of the profession”.3