Wilk v. American Medical Association
, (7th Cir.
1990), was a federal antitrust
suit brought against the American Medical Association
(AMA) and 10 co-defendants by chiropractor
Chester A. Wilk, DC, and four co-plaintiffs. It resulted in a ruling against the AMA.
Until 1983, the AMA held that it was unethical for medical doctors
to associate with an "unscientific practitioner," and labeled chiropractic "an unscientific cult."
Before 1980, Principle 3 of the AMA Principles of medical ethics
stated: "A physician should practice a method of healing founded on a scientific basis; and he should not voluntarily professionally associate with anyone who violates this principle."
In 1980 during a major revision of ethical rules (while the Wilk litigation was in progress), it replaced Principle 3, stating that a physician "shall be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical services." Also, up until 1974, the AMA had a Committee on quackery
which challenged what it considered to be unscientific forms of healing. Wilk argued that this committee was established specifically to undermine chiropractic.
The first trial
In 1976, Chester Wilk and four other chiropractors sued the AMA, several nationwide healthcare associations, and several physicians for violations of sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act
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