Chiropractic Legislation Passes in French National Assembly

The Association Fran­aise de Chiropratique (AFC) reports that the French National Assembly (the French equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives) has passed by voice vote on Oct 4 amendment 178, a health care patient bill of rights first promoted by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 1999.

Under article 52 of the bill is language that legally recognizes chiropractic, a significant event, as chiropractors in France continue to be arrested and fined for “practicing medicine without a license.”

Bill 178 is popularly called the “Kouchner law,” after the bill’s advocate, Bernard Kouchner,MD, the French Minister of Health. Dr. Kouchner was a founder in 1971 of the Paris-based health relief organization Medecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for its relief efforts in war zones in Biafra; Nicaragua; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Rwanda East Timor; and Kosovo.

Article 52 provides for the regulation of the use of the titles chiropracteur and osteopath. These titles will be reserved for those doctors who are duly qualified in chiropractic or osteopathy from a school, institute or university as recognized by decree (i.e., French law). Foreign-held qualifications must satisfy the requirements as determined by those educational institutions and as recognized by decree.

DC practitioners, at the date of enforcement of this law, would be recognized as duly qualified if they satisfy educational and professional experience criteria similar to those of graduates from legally recognized educational institutions.

The bill, as in the U.S., must also receive formal assent by the Senate before becoming law.

Congratulations to the AFC on this major achievement. For further information on this historic event in France, please contact Philippe Fleuriau,DC, legal affairs, AFC, at:

tel: 33-2-31-86-21-72;
fax: 33-2-31-85-10-88;
e-mail: fleuriau@club-internet.fr .

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