Ethical Rules for Chiropractors in Arizona

The practice of chiropractic medicine aims to clear problems in the nervous system and spinal cord that chiropractors say interfere with the body's innate ability to heal. In school, chiropractors study anatomy, physiology, microbiology and pathology. Although people often view chiropractors as back pain specialists, the Arizona Chiropractic Society says many patients use chiropractors for primary care.

Official Code of Conduct

The Arizona Chiropractic Society endorsed the International Chiropractors Association's Code of Professional Conduct in 2008. The code essentially outlines moral obligations that require chiropractors in Arizona to work in the patient's best interest. The doctors must uphold confidentiality rules and counsel the patient if they need medical help beyond the chiropractor's skill set.

Governance

The Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners directly oversees registered chiropractors in the state and also set rules for the profession. Arizona Revised Statutes outline punishable behavior, and then allocate punishing authority to the board of examiners. The state's administrative codes set rules for the board examiners to follow.

State Code Guides Chiropractors

Rules under the Arizona Administrative Code require that chiropractors disclose in writing any financial interest they have in recommending a diagnostic test or treatment facility to a patient. The code also prohibits unlicensed chiropractic assistants from providing patient services and bars the doctors from overstating the efficacy of a certain treatment or test.

State Statutes Set More Rules

Under the Arizona Revised Statutes, a chiropractor practicing under a fake name or who fraudulently obtained his license may receive punishment. The laws even forbid the "habitual use of alcohol, narcotics or stimulants" if the use interferes with the chiropractor's work. The Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners investigates potential infractions and can revoke or suspend a chiropractor's license.

Society Clashes with Examiners

Disputes between the Arizona Chiropractic Society and the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners have erupted, and the ACS has pushed for reform. The ACS complained that its overseeing board acted heavy-handedly, posting even non-disciplinary actions online next to a doctor's license information. This created poor public perception, the ACS argued, complaining that the board "invented" a standard to satisfy insurance companies and Medicare.