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The ICS repeatedly reminds legislators that Chiropractic Physicians are licensed Physicians under the Medical Practice Act of 1987. However, legislators are presented with a huge amount of information on thousands of bills per year. Therefore, they cannot remember all of the licensing requirements for all of the various licensed professions. That is why it is crucial that we remind them. In speaking with legislators, refer to this issue as our “parity” to other types of physicians. Remember to keep your points brief. When discussing this issue, politely remind the legislator of our Medical Practice Act physician status on the following talking points:
Under Illinois law, doctors of chiropractic possess status as full physicians, including authority to diagnose and treat the full range of human ailments, so long as it is without the use of drugs or operative surgery. Under the Medical Practice Act, there are two general categories of physicians: one that may practice medicine in all of its branches (medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy) and one that may practice any method of diagnosing and treating human ailments without the use of drugs or operative surgery (doctors of chiropractic), equal in all respects except for the authority to use certain forms of treatment.
The Illinois Supreme Court case declared in 1924 in People v. Witte, 315 Ill.282, “there is no distinction between the two classes of practitioners as to the diseases which they may treat.” This case has not been overturned and is still good law. Moreover, the Illinois Supreme Court in 2003 affirmed the status of chiropractic physicians in Vuagniaux v. Department of Professional Regulation et al., 208 Ill.2d 173, stating that “…the Medical Practice Act treats [chiropractic physicians] as full and equal members of the medical profession. Under the law, those holding the degree of doctor of chiropractic possess precisely the same professional stature as those holding degrees as doctors of medicine or doctors of osteopathy. All are regarded as physicians.” [Emphasis added.]
Chiropractic physicians are authorized to act as primary care physicians under the administrative rules of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Insurance.
Under the Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank Act (210 ILCS 25/7‑101), chiropractic physicians are authorized to order blood and other specimen testing. They are specifically included as licensees under the Medical Practice Act. As additional authority, the Attorney General issued an opinion in 1963 specifically affirming the right of chiropractic physicians to perform blood testing. This opinion still stands.
Chiropractic physicians are approved under the School Code to sign off on teacher and student certification for sick leave (105 ILCS 5/26-1), to order modified physical education courses for a student (105 ILCS 5/27-6) and to perform physical examinations on school bus drivers (625 ILCS 5/6-106.1). Licensed chiropractic physicians also may become qualified to issue medical certifications of commercial truck drivers under both State of Illinois and federal rules.