Background: The philosophy of chiropractic has been a much debated entity throughout the existence of the chiropractic profession. Much criticism has been passed upon the historical philosophy of chiropractic and propagated by contemporary adherents. To date, a new philosophy has not been detailed nor presented that demonstrates principles by which to follow.
Aim: The purpose of this paper is to expand upon the work of Russell Kirk (b.1918, d. 1994), an American political theorist, as a basis for principles to guide the formation of a philosophy of chiropractic medicine (PCM). Each of Kirk’s principles will be explained and expounded upon as applicable to a PCM. The addition of the term “medicine” to chiropractic is indicative of a new direction for the profession.
Discussion: The ten principles that provide a foundation for a PCM include: (a) moral order, (b) custom, convention and continuity, (c) prescription, (d) prudence, (e) variety, (f) imperfectability, (g) freedom and property linkage, (h) voluntary community and involuntary collectivism, (i) prudent restraints upon power and human passions, and (j) permanence and change. Each of these principles offers not a dogmatic approach but provides insight into the application of chiropractic medicine to the entire station of the patient and society at large especially that of the economic, social and political. These principles provide direction in not only the approach to the doctor-patient encounter but can be used to visualize the wider world and its potential impact. Instead, these principles examine many tangential issues worthy of discussion that may impact health, social, political, and economic policy and how the chiropractic profession can approach these issues.
Conclusion: This paper provides the initial steps in formulating a PCM using principles from a sociological, political and economic standpoint which may impact on how chiropractic medicine approaches the patient and society in totality. In addition, these principles provide the necessary first steps in the arena of the social, political and economic aspects and how chiropractic medicine can advance.
Author keywords: Philosophy — Chiropractic medicine — Principles — Russell Kirk — Economics — Collectivism — Politics — Government — Regulation
Author affiliation: Department of Secondary and Physical Education, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL USA
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