On June 27, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision arising from an Aug. 1, 2005, Davenport Civil Rights Commission disability discrimination charge filed by Aaron Cannon against the College. Mr. Cannon was a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program student during the 2005 spring trimester only. He filed the discrimination charge after withdrawing from the program.

 Mr. Cannon was born totally blind. He had no usable vision to either read print or visualize objects. As he described it, he could “see light and dark and that’s about it.” He’s never seen color. He’s never seen a human body. And he’s never seen a diagnostic image, such as an X-ray.

 Mr. Cannon’s total blindness from birth brought into play Palmer’s technical standard that states students must have a “sufficient use of the sense of vision” necessary to perform chiropractic and general physical examinations, including the review of radiographs, as taught in the curriculum.

 With this disability in mind, the College followed its Handbook for Students with Disabilities. The only accommodation Mr. Cannon sought was a sighted assistant. This accommodation wouldn’t have come into play until his fifth trimester.

 Mr. Cannon met and corresponded with the College’s disability coordinator, and he met with the College’s Disability Steering Committee. At his request, the College met with the Iowa Department of the Blind. That state agency indicated it would follow up with recommendations for the College to consider. It never did. The College expressed a willingness to continue the dialogue, but Mr. Cannon then chose to withdraw.

 Based upon its technical standard, the College’s position became that a sighted assistant as proposed by Mr. Cannon was not a reasonable accommodation.

 A public hearing was held by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission, at which time the College presented the testimony from nine administrators and faculty members. The Commission found in favor of Mr. Cannon.

 The College appealed that finding to the Scott County Iowa District Court which found in favor of the College. That decision was then appealed by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission and Aaron Cannon to the Iowa Supreme Court. As part of the appeal, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, National University of Health Sciences and Logan College of Chiropractic filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of Palmer College.

 Despite the College’s efforts to work cooperatively with Mr. Cannon, the Court ruled the College should have done more. The Court also held that, based on the facts of this case, the local Commission didn’t erroneously interpret or irrationally apply the law in concluding that providing an untrained sighted assistant wouldn’t fundamentally alter the College’s curriculum. In short, the Court wasn’t persuaded that “all chiropractic students must be able to see radiographic images.”

 In stark contrast, Justice Waterman, joined by Justice Mansfield, issued a dissent. After expressing their admiration for Mr. Cannon by acknowledging the challenges he’s overcome, Justice Waterman wrote: “… there is a point at which an accommodation ceases to be reasonable, and it has been met here.”

 Justice Waterman went on to describe the Court’s holding as a “ludicrous” and “unprecedented” intrusion into academic judgment. That intrusion, he wrote, “elevates political correctness over common sense,” thereby allowing a totally blind student to interpret X-rays based on what an “untrained reader” tells him -- a circumstance which could lead to a “misinterpreted X-ray,” “improper treatment” and “lifelong paralysis.”

 Instead of striking a “balance” between the disabled student and the health care educational institution, Justice Waterman describes the Court’s opinion as running “roughshod over Palmer’s legitimate interests and the integrity of Palmer’s Chiropractic Program.”

 As we move forward, it’s important to remember that Palmer College of Chiropractic is committed to the success of all its students. There currently are 54 students with documented disabilities receiving reasonable accommodations on our Davenport Campus alone. Palmer has and will continue to reasonably accommodate its students with disabilities, including those who are visually impaired.

 Dennis M. Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., is chancellor of Palmer College of Chiropractic. Contact him through the college at 563-884-5726.

(20) comments

Tyler Guth

I am not jealous of your decrepit offices withering at the end of dying strip malls.

I am afraid for all the people who put their trust in this quackery.

I feel for the people who have suffered from chiropractically induced strokes, so I read into the cause and occurrence, to which the history of this cult was an inevitable tangent. It has been fascinating and disappointing.

I am passionate about exposing this sham for what is is, but I don't know what the correct venue for that is, beyond the litigation that's already occurred. I guess just personal avoidance.

There is no number of studies by chiropractors, to answer your question, that will ever validate chiropractics, for me or for anyone who understands source validation. Beyond that, medical science's dismissal of this seems complete.

I hope that you see the light before you kill someone. That would be a terrible feeling, learning only too late that you've been an accessory to a resilient cult with blood on its hands.

Tyler Guth

Well whatever you were trying to convey was just kind of a lot of poop jokes.


Tyler, reading your comments I can clearly see you have absolutely no medical knowledge or any knowledge for that matter. The diarrhea that is coming out of your mouth amuses me. If you had actually gone to any reputable resources for your "information" I would listen. However your nonsense is straight from google, dogpile, or bing. Chiropractic is not something you can choose to believe in. Thats like saying "I don't believe in the sun." How many studies need to be done by chiropractors, medical doctors, DO's, JAMA, AMA, ACA, ICA, JMPT, JCM, ESJ .... the list goes on, before you open your eyes to whats in front of you. Whether you like it or not Chiropractic is real, its growing, and it works. Like I've said to you before on a different post about this situation, Chiropractors are not bone cracking doctors. We are nervous system doctors. We directly affect the nervous system by adjustments. The science is all there, its your choice to review it. What is hilarious to me is that you are so anti-chiropractic but you concern yourself so much with this case. If you just want some attention from people thats one thing. But when you are blatantly telling lies about something you honestly have never even looked into you are barking up the wrong tree. Like Innate previously said, if you want to remain blissfully ignorant thats your choice. You are the one I feel sorry for. All I ask is that you actually do your homework the next time you try to put down a proven profession just because your jealous of what we do. Good day to you sir

Tyler Guth

Haha, inane, I accept your concession, or whatever you're trying to convey.

Chiropractic, chiropractics, it makes no difference to me. I have no need to learn the jargon of this particularly trashy footnote in the history of quackery.

Go back to your dank office at the dark end of some abandoned stripmall, slowly killing the dwindling number of suckers who, even in this age of readily accessible knowledge, still believe in your pervasive branch of pseudoscience.

Medicine and science are the wrong contexts in which to discuss this, and your weird corprophiliac personal attacks in response to your limited worldview being blown away confirm that.

Science does not cling irrationally to disproved beliefs. Science seeks truth.

You, on the other hand, are merely a cult adherent. Your truth is predetermined, and your fixation, as a last resort, on the narrow vernacular of your cult, to the ostensible exclusion of outsiders, seals the deal. You are lost in cognitive dissonance, and you just start regurgitating the trash churning in what's left of your mind. You attack your critics like a cornered dog, and not one making good points.

To use a medical context, or whichever pseudoscientific context the cult chooses to claim legitimacy through, validates a cult. I regret having done that.


My concession? By your own admission, you don't even understand what I am "trying to convey." People like you are a hoot! Remain blissfully ignorant if you so desire, but do have the good sense to confine your comments to topics that you have some knowledge of. You have no knowledge of Chiropractic or medicine for that matter.


The failures of modern medicine are irrelevant to how well chiropractic does or does not work. Because 20K people a year die because of hospital errors does not mean vertebral subluxations are a "silent killer" or the body has "innate intelligence." But hey, chiros do give good back massages, and they're oddly cheaper than a licensed massage therapist.


Your figure of 20k iatrogenic deaths is sadly, too low. The actual figure is closer to 200k per year. Do some research, and you will learn that I am right on that score! By virtue of its efficacy, Chiropractic resolves many health issues for many, many, many patients that might otherwise become another victim of some modern medical procedure. Innate Intelligence? Without it, you don't have your next heartbeat!! People actually believe that sutures heal a cut! Stitches have no power to regenerate new healthy cells. Look to innate intelligence on that one as well. As far as massage therapists go--stick with just a massage and they won't charge you so much.

Tyler Guth

Hippocrates was a big trepanner, and bloodletter too, by modern standards. To this specific suit, and the nature of this man's blindness- you're right! He was born totally blind. My bad.

Honestly, I see this man's case as more of a sideshow, a joke on a joke, and mainly appreciate it in that it sheds light on a very real problem: chiropractics. The case should illuminate the core fallacy, the totally unproven, unaccountable, and anti-scientific nature of the practice.

To your point on diabetes, a scientific approach to medicine has identified its physiological cause, the system and particular acute pancreatic failure causing the condition, and, as a result, designed various therapies, depending on the stage of, to make the condition manageable.

I'll preemptively concede, though, that type two diabetes can be treated, reversed, and for all purposes cured by lifestyle adjustments- diet and exercise. I wholeheartedly believe in diet and exercise, and we probably agree that most medicines are overprescribed. Holistic alternatives, when shown to work, are wonderful. Too often we poison one system to treat another.

Chiropractic, unfortunately, is not among those effective holistic treatments. Some chiropractors are becoming essentially homeopaths, basically, which is a step in the right direction, as it's at least modestly evidence-based, but as long as the "fountainhead" in Davenport keeps spewing dangerous nonsense about spinal and cervical-spinal adjustments having any place whatsoever in medicine, it will continue to be a problem.

I am not a practicing physician. My medical education is enough to know that "evidence-based scientific medicine" and "things that happened at a seance in Muscatine" are two circles that do not overlap.

Beyond that, I've had two friends suffer strokes as a direct result of some quack cracking their necks repeatedly, and I read up on the frequency of chiropractic induced strokes. It is a small public heath crisis.

Chiropractics helps nobody besides the people training chiropractors, and it ruins a lot of lives.

Don't try to disprove medicine to me. Try to show any proof of the efficacy of any chiropractic adjustment to the neck or back.


I will NOT allow a chiro to touch me. I went to one about ten years ago and the guy applied WAY too much force to my neck. They scare me to death.


Your use of the word "chiropractics" demonstrates your total and deliberate ignorance of Chiropractic. Your education in medicine/healthcare/homeopathy/bed pan orderly is woefully inadequate to be qualified to comment on ingesting fecal material as a cause of halitosis. Keep taking your pills, but do try to limit your criticisms to topics you have even minimal knowledge of.


Has any chiropractor rediscovered the magic 'cure deafness' adjustment?

And wasn't Palmer a 'magnetic healer' that could cure cancer? They rediscover that, yet?

Tyler Guth

Most gram positive bacterial infection that was a problem in the early 20th century, is what it cured. Those would include, I suppose, Chlamydia, Scarlett Fever, Staph Infections, Typhoid, Gangrene, and the list kind of goes on and on, and includes the bacteria responsible for many tooth abscesses and stomach ulcers. I'm surprised that you pressed that point, rather than just googling it.

The reason that nervous implants are not born fully developed immediately, like the theory of chiropractic was, is because real science takes time and experimentation to hone and prove itself.

Actually though, the technology is surprisingly advanced, and anecdotally, is really impressive as a way to restore lost sight. Since this guy lost sight that he did once have, he'll probably actually be a good candidate for the technology.

Real science rejects things that do not work, and either fixes or discards them. That is why both penicillin and bioengineering sight restoration are both fundamentally different than this trash. This trash is not science. This is trash.


Real science, in the medical sense reached its' zenith when it was discovered that trephination and blood-letting were deleterious to the "patient" Do you suggest that of the above mentioned pathogens only one dose of penicillin was needed to "cure" the patient of the current episode and protect against future episodes? I will admit that there is a time and place for antibiotic therapy in order to maintain life or limb, however; please note that antibiotics are losing the battle due to pathogen mutation. I will ask you to what extent you are educated in medicine and/or Chiropractic, or are you just repeating things you have heard? I find your comprehension suspect--- You wrote "Since this guy lost his sight that he did once have..."--- Well, may I suggest you revisit the first sentences of paragraphs two and three in this article. Let's have more fun!!! Bearing in mind I have conceded the need, at times for antibiotics, can you tell me about the success that the medical field has demonstrated in curing oh let's say diabetes?

Tyler Guth

Probably because they're too busy developing artificial retinal implants linked directly to the optic nerve. Pills would make no sense, but probably most things don't to you, based on the question you go on to ask.

To which Penicillin comes to mind as a place from which you may want to start your research.

As to Hippocrates, I'd say it's probably because his works, though brilliant, happened within the framework of a 5th century BC understanding of science and medicine, which is why he's always referring to bodily humors being out of whack.

I guess you have to grope kind of far to find any sort of credible basis for any ideas of chiropractic you can latch on to. which would explain why the one Hippocrates attribution you know is quoted on about a trillion amateurish chiropractic blogs across the dying strip mills of the internet where your type peddles their quackery.


And penicillin CURED what? How are those artificial retinal implants coming along? They must not be such a resounding success else this student would be amongst the sighted, and you and I would not be corresponding. I get the idea that you are one of those people whose minds are likened to the pupil of the eye--- that is; the more light shed upon it, the smaller it gets!!!

Tyler Guth

You know what else runs roughshod over the integrity of your academic program?

The fact that there is no demonstrated scientific basis for the effectiveness of any chiropractic treatment, or even for the existence of the underlying condition of subluxation. I'd worry more about that one, personally, if you want to keep your scam going.

Given that your dangerous pseudoscience is at best a placebo, why is it any less effective when practiced by a blind person? Heck, as long as there is no expectation of verifiable results, anyone or anything should be able to practice this quackery with pretty much the same outcome- usually nothing, a few converts, and a few strokes now and then (because cracking your neck repeatedly is stupid and dangerous).

Did not the first treatment by the original charlatan purport to treat someone's deafness anyway? He sure didn't need any x-rays either! He just needed to contact a deceased native American physician at a seance, and I believe, as he put it, he received the technical information 'spiritually,' so, it wouldn't really require eyes, or frankly, even a brain.

I can't remember if Palmer used his magic magnets for the deafness or if he had already been run out of town once for that scam? Maybe you can remind me, you seem informed.

What a fascinating and self-satirizing case.


I am still confused as to why one of the 16,000 chiropractors in the Quad Cities has not adjusted him with a sight-restoring special neck rub?? Remember, chiropractic can cure anything.


Silly Iowaguy, donchaknow that chiropractic doesn't "cure" anything? It lets "the body heal itself" through the body's "innate intelligence." Maybe you're thinking of Reiki, which is just as effective as chiropractic but without the touchy feely stuff.


Why hasn't one of your allopathic heroes developed a "pill" that will restore sight to the blind? For that matter, can you name ANY medication that has CURED any stat of DIS-EASE? Don't you find it ironic that Hippocrates (the father of medicine) is credited with proclaiming "look well to the spine for the cause of disease."


So you wait until the fifth semester to say to him "This really isn't for you." You think you could have told him before he dropped 50k in tuition? Besides, what's the benefit of an x-ray if subluxations can't be seen?

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