Friday, February 26, 2010

WARNING FOR DOCTORS: You Can Get in Trouble for Trying to Cure Homosexuality

And for good reason, too. Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Furthermore, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK also said "homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder" (BBC News).

However, as we all know, there are still "doctors" out there trying to cure people of their gayness. And sadly, these people are actually taken seriously. For example, former Parliament member Iris Robinson actually had one of these doctors, Dr. Paul Miller, as an advisor. In fact, in 2008 Robinson suggested that a gay man who had been the victim of a hate crime should undergo counseling with Dr. Miller in order to cure his homosexuality, which she called "an abomination" ( Funny, I've never heard that one before.

But things seem to be taking a turn in the right direction in the UK. Dr. Miller, who "claimed he could convert people to heterosexuality" has been reported to the General Medical Council. Gay journalist Patrick Strudwick reported Dr. Miller after going undercover and attending two sessions via webcam with Dr. Miller. Strudwick said that Dr. Miller told him the reason why he was gay was because "he had been wounded as a child." Furthermore, Strudwick said that "Dr Miller suggested some unusual ways to deal with his feelings towards other men and he also spoke openly and explicitly about his own sexuality" (BBC News). "I felt disgusted and abused by his inappropriate sexual remarks during the sessions. To hear this from a psychiatrist during a session, it was like being sexually assaulted," he said.

Sessions like these can have obvious negative effects on people, especially those who already feel vulnerable about their sexuality. Strudwick noted, "it was very disturbing because I was acutely aware during the sessions of the effect this would be having on a vulnerable young person had I been genuinely seeking treatment."

Strudwick also said that he is the first person in British history to attempt to have a doctor's license revoked for treating homosexuality. According to BBC News, the General Medical Council will discuss Dr. Miller's case next month.


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