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Texas Chiropractic Board Amended Rules on "Unprofessional Conduct" in Chiropractic Care

Healing TouchAppreciation for licensed chiropractors and the valuable health care services they provide continues to grow throughout Texas. More than one in 20 Americans seek treatment every year from a chiropractor. The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) is in place to ensure that all chiropractors have a strong understanding of their chosen profession and follow ethical expectations. The Boards mission is "to promote, preserve, and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Texas by licensing skilled professionals and enforcing standards of practice."

The TBCE recently adopted rule changes for fiscal year 2017. These rules took effect on June 1. One of the adopted amendments is to Rule 78.1 which defines unprofessional conduct. The amendment more specifically distinguishes violations that constitute unprofessional conduct in chiropractic care.

You can review the previous language of Rule 78.1 alongside the changes as proposed here. The final adopted amendments can be viewed here.

  • 78.1. Unprofessional Conduct

Engaging in sexual misconduct with a patient within the chiropractic/patient relationship is barred by Rule 78.1. The amendment to this rule more clearly defines what constitutes "sexual misconduct."

Section 1, Subsection A defines sexual misconduct as: "sexual impropriety, which includes any behavior, gestures, statements, or expressions through any medium of communication towards a patient which may reasonably be interpreted as inappropriately seductive, sexually suggestive or demeaning." Subsection A goes on to list a number of examples.

Subsection B further defines sexual misconduct as: " sexual intimacy, which includes engaging in any conduct that is intended to cause or reasonably interpreted to cause stimulation of a sexual nature," and it also goes on to list a number of examples, including sexual intercourse and genital contact.

Subsections C and D are in regard to defending against disciplinary action. Pursuant to Subsection C, it is a defense to allegations of sexual misconduct if the patient was "no longer emotionally dependent on the licensee when the sexual impropriety or intimacy began," and the impropriate or intimacy began at least three months after the licensee terminated his or her professional relationship with the patient.

However, pursuant to Subsection D, it is not a defense to allegations of sexual misconduct if the sexual impropriety or intimacy with the patient occurred:

(i) with the consent of the patient;

(ii) outside professional treatment sessions; or

(iii) off the premises regularly used by the licensee for the professional treatment of patients.

Beyond sexual misconduct, Rule 78.1 defines a number of actions as unprofessional conduct. These include fraud, unsanitary conditions, failure to properly supervise staff to keep patient records confidential, and regulations on advertising.

So, you understand what constitutes unprofessional conduct, we encourage you to read the entire text of Rule 78.1 here.

Chiropractic License Defense Attorneys

If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced Pharmacy license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TBCE's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.

Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced Chiropractic Board license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.

BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (800) 210-0126.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our Law Firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas through our offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

Super Lawyers Rising Star American Bar Association Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College Super Lawyers New York State Bar Association Houston Bar Association Austin Bar Association American Center for Law and Justice 10.0Tony Ray Bertolino

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