43-9-16. Scope of practice; injury from want of reasonable degree of care is a tort
(a) Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter shall have the right to practice chiropractic as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-9-1 and to evaluate, diagnose, and adjust patients according to specific chiropractic methods in order to correct spinal subluxations or to adjust the articulations of the human body. Chiropractors shall observe all applicable public health regulations.
(b) The chiropractic adjustment of the spine or articulations of the human body may include manual adjustments and adjustments by means of electrical and mechanical devices which produce traction or vibration. Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter may also use modalities. Modalities include any physical agent applied to produce therapeutic change to biologic tissues including thermal, acoustic, noninvasive light, mechanical, or electric energy, hot or cold packs, ultrasound, galvanism, microwave, diathermy, and electrical stimulation. Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter may utilize and recommend therapeutic procedures effecting change through the application of clinical skills and services that attempt to improve function, including therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities, manual therapy techniques, massage, and structural supports as they relate to the articulations of the human body; provided, however, that the same shall not be construed to allow chiropractors to treat patients outside the scope of practice of chiropractic as set forth in this chapter.
(c) Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter may utilize those modalities and procedures described in subsection (b) of this Code section, provided the chiropractor shall have completed a course of study containing a minimum of 120 hours of instruction in the proper utilization of those procedures in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Council on Chiropractic Education or its successor and is qualified and so certified in that proper utilization.
(d) Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter shall have the right to sign health certificates, reporting to the proper health officers the same as other practitioners.
(e) Chiropractors shall not prescribe or administer medicine to patients, perform surgery, or practice obstetrics or osteopathy.
(f) Chiropractors shall not use venipuncture, capillary puncture, acupuncture, or any other technique which is invasive of the human body either by penetrating the skin or through any of the orifices of the body or through the use of colonics. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a chiropractor who is licensed to perform acupuncture under Article 3 of Chapter 34 of this title from engaging in the practice of acupuncture.
(g) A person professing to practice chiropractic for compensation must bring to the exercise of that person’s profession a reasonable degree of care and skill. Any injury resulting from a want of such care and skill shall be a tort for which a recovery may be had. If a chiropractor performs upon a patient any act authorized to be so performed under this chapter but which act also constitutes a standard procedure of the practice of medicine, including but not limited to the use of modalities such as those described in subsection (b) of this Code section and X-rays, under similar circumstances the chiropractor shall be held to the same standard of care as would licensed doctors of medicine who are qualified to and who actually perform those acts under similar conditions and like circumstances.
(h) A licensed practitioner of chiropractic may use only the title “chiropractor,” or “doctor of chiropractic,” or “D.C.”
(i) Chiropractors who have complied with this chapter may recommend the use of nutritional and dietary supplements. Any such recommendation of nutritional and dietary supplements shall not be construed to allow chiropractors to treat patients outside the scope of the practice of chiropractic as set forth in this chapter nor shall this subsection be construed to allow chiropractors to sell at a profit any such nutritional and dietary supplements without providing their generic name. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude compliance with Chapter 8 of Title 48, relating to the collection of sales and use taxes.
HISTORY: Ga. L. 1921, p. 166, § 7; Code 1933, § 84-509; Ga. L. 1977, p. 232, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 43; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1534, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 485, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 460, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1719, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 538, § 1.1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 494, § 1/SB 102; Ga. L. 2008, p. 324, § 43/SB 455.
DISCLAIMER – Some of these codes have been amended over the years, and they can be amended again by the legislature at any time. For some codes you use the version that existed at the time the malpractice occurred, but for others you use the version of the code that exists at the time you go to trial. We show you these codes for general education purposes, but you should always consult an experienced Georgia medical malpractice attorney before relying on these provisions.
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