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Table 2 Principles of Kirk [37, 38] as applicable to a philosophy of chiropractic medicine (PCM)

From: A treatise for a new philosophy of chiropractic medicine

Principle Definition
Moral Order Moral truths are consistent, guided by sound ethics, for patient-care and professional behavior. These moral truths are supported for people to live in a peaceful society.
Custom, Convention, and Continuity A recognition and appreciation of long-standing practices, traditions, and respect for institutions of society are vital for the overall well-being of a nation.
Contriving to avoid perpetual disputes about the rights and duties of the patient and the rights and duties of the clinician.
Current state laws regarding matters of chiropractic interest and for society, while subject to the profession and enacted via laws by the citizenry enables people to live together peaceably through the upholding of law; there exist core aspects of the profession that remain consistent i.e. spinal manipulation and the profession as chiropractic medicine with appreciation for the social contract.
Prescription There are those in the history of science and medicine that inspire and encourage investigation. The basic tenets of science guide the chiropractic medicine practitioner in order to keep from contrary actions such as pseudoscience. There is respect and regard for a nation’s founders and those who propelled it to greatness and for a nation’s unique culture and history.
Prudence Public health measures and other measures introduced for the good of society and individuals are judged by their probable long-range consequences, not because they are popular or provide a temporary political advantage. Chiropractic medicine seeks to empower individuals and promote basic freedoms.
Variety Affection for the established scientific processes that exist; variety in the establishment of innovative methods to deal with neuro-musculoskeletal conditions is encouraged through the scientific method. The chiropractic clinician makes use of additional diagnostic, therapeutic, pharmacologic and rehabilitation modalities to serve a greater population of patients. Chiropractic medicine realizes that society will have all levels of economic classes and that such classifications signifies a healthy society.
Imperfectability Human nature suffers under its own weight from the psychological to the genetic. Because of this imperfectability, human biological systems break down and need repair thus negating the philosophy of self-healing without choice. Individual responsibility is the key to effective patient care and not dependent upon the doctor to make a patient into a “new healthy”. Acknowledgement that utopia or utopian measures can never come to fruition.
Freedom and Property Linkage Chiropractic medicine advocates for personal freedom and individual rights of self-determination of the patient and society as a whole. Chiropractic medicine promotes the ownership of personal property, asset and wealth accumulation and responsibility for that property. It also advocates for the constitutionally-guaranteed rights provided by their nation and advocates for property ownership and the individual as consumer. Chiropractic medicine promotes market-based solutions to complex economic issues and incentives for growth of the profession, society and the patient.
Voluntary Community and Involuntary Collectivism Chiropractic medicine practitioners advocate for individual human rights, achievement, individual responsibility and the power of individual human potential. Chiropractic medicine advocates for the local community to voluntarily empower itself and opposes collectivism that forces individuals and/or groups to the will of an uninterested and unrepresentative entity.
Prudent restraints upon power and human passions Chiropractic medicine physicians advocate for prudent restraints on the practice of chiropractic medicine. Prudent restraints on what is advertised, practiced, and advocated so as human passions do not impede upon progress. Chiropractic medicine advocates for limited government that does not impede upon personal liberty and promotes the rule of law as no one person is above the law
Permanence and Change Chiropractic medicine embraces the permanence of those things inherent to the operation of healthcare to ensure stability and continuity; for chiropractic medicine to progress it must acknowledge that change is necessary and healthy.