updated 1/27/2005 4:21:04 PM ET 2005-01-27T21:21:04

The state of Florida killed a proposal Thursday to create what would have been the first chiropractic school at an American public university.

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The Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s 11 public universities, voted down the idea 10-3 after a bitter debate in which faculty members at Florida State University, where the school would have been, ridiculed chiropractic medicine as pseudoscience.

Board members objected that the idea was being driven by lawmakers rather than by the faculty and the university’s trustees. Other board members questioned whether the school was needed.

“I am not convinced the school fits the FSU mission,” said board member Rolland Heiser. “I think there are more pressing needs in the state university system, considering our limited resources.”

Chiropractic focuses on manipulating the spine to lessen back pain and improve health. It has won wider acceptance over the years, as evidenced by its coverage in most health insurance plans.

But in the 110 years since the chiropractic profession was created, the established medical community has largely boycotted it, challenging its scientific validity in courts and legislative bodies. In 1990, a federal appeals court found that the American Medical Association had conspired to destroy the profession.

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