AMA supports decision to reinstate ban on child spinal manipulation

Australian Medical Association

AMA President Steve Robson has backed the decision to reinstate the ban on chiropractors performing spinal manipulation of young children and babies.

The AMA has supported the reinstatement of a ban on the use of spinal manipulation to treat children under two years because of safety concerns.

AMP President Professor Steve Robson said young children were such a vulnerable group that extra caution must be exercised in assessing all safety information.

The Chiropractic Board of Australia reinstated the ban following widespread concerns about its decision to overturn a prohibition on chiropractors’ treatment of young children.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler raised the overturning of the ban with his state and territory colleagues last week. He said he was shocked by the Board’s decision and demanded an urgent review.

Professor Robson told ABC Radio’s World Today this week that any treatment given to children needed to be assessed very carefully.

“I think if we are going to offer any treatment to young children, such a vulnerable group, we need to take the time to get the evidence so every Australian parent can be reassured the treatment their children are getting is safe,” Professor Robson said.

Last week, immediately following the Chiropractic Board’s decision to allow spinal manipulation, Professor Robson said multiple reviews had failed to provide support for spinal manipulation or mobilisation in paediatric populations.

“We are also worried about potential harms and the lack of robust arrangements to track adverse events,” he said.

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