Ban on chiropractors giving babies spinal treatment reinstated after outcry

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
Chiropractors are again banned from giving babies spinal treatment after health ministers demanded a regulator reverse its controversial decision.
The background: Last week, the Chiropractic Board of Australia after it again allowed chiropractors to use spinal manipulation on children under the age of two.
Health Minister Mark Butler demanded an explanation from the board and raised the issue with health ministers at a meeting on Friday.

On Monday, the board confirmed it would reinstate an interim policy banning the practice after a request from the health ministers’ meeting. The policy would be in effect until further consultation with health ministers allowed for a final decision to be developed, the board said.

A man in a dark grey suit, a white shirt and blue tie, speaking in front of a white wall.

Health Minister Mark Butler demanded an explanation from Australia’s chiropractic board about the ban’s reversal last week. Source: AAP / Mick Tsikas

Key quote: “When health ministers discussed this issue last week, it seemed pretty clear to us that there was no basis for the suspension to have been lifted in the first place … We’re still looking forward to receiving an urgent explanation from the board as to why they took the action they did.” — Health Minister Mark Butler.

What else to know: The board banned the practice in 2019 while it gathered evidence about its safety and effectiveness. It later commissioned health research organisation Cochrane Australia to review spinal manipulation in children under 12 and published updated guidelines in November 2023. These allowed chiropractors to treat children according to evidence and or best practice approaches.

Medical bodies opposed the move to allow babies to undergo chiropractic spinal treatment, as two reviews found there was no evidence to support the practice.

What happens next: The board said it will consider its obligations under the national law and further decisions by health ministers in developing a “final position”.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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