APil 09/04 0052 Chiropractor-Victory By JEFF HOLYFIELD Associated Press Writer LANSING, M

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APil 09/04 0052 Chiropractor-Victory By JEFF HOLYFIELD Associated Press Writer LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The American Medical Association's "disgraceful plot" to destroy the chiropractic profession has been ended by a federal court victory, which boosted the concept of free choice in health care, says the Michigan chiropractor who led a 13-year legal battle. Dr. Clair O'Dell, of Southgate, said Thursday that he and four other chiropractors formed a committee to pursue anti-trust legal action in 1974 even though "at that time, noby believed the AMA could be whipped." "At that time, we had nothing to go on, but a dream and the knowledge that our cause was right," said O'Dell, chairman of the panel. "We were not mad at anyone. We just felt that everybody had a right to exist. All we wanted was to have our democratic rights protected." In a 101-page opinion issued last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA and several other medical groups conspired to destroy the chiropractic profession in the United States. O'Dell said that before the lawsuit was filed, he'd been practicing for 37 years "and I had spent about 50 percent of those 37 years washing out the poison that had been inserted into the minds of people by the propaganda of the AMA that chiropractic was unscientific, was a cult and was bad." O'Dell said that throughout the chiropractic profession's 92-year history, the medical establishment sought to eradicate it and in 1962 a "quackery conference" of the AMA adopted an 18-point program to do that. The program aimed to do that by failing to recognize chiropractic as a profession, making it unethical for medical doctors to associate with chiropractors, making it impossible for chiropractors to get hospital privileges and fighting their recognition and payment by insurance companies. Someone sent the chiropractors' lawyers a copy of the document, boosting their case, O'Dell said, adding that Getzendanner planned to issue injunctions halting any further efforts. The bottom line of the decision, he said, was a big boost to Americans' freedom of choice for health care and options to standard medical practices.

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