Experts still try ‘cures’ for gays

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Experts still try ‘cures’ for gays

Post by Gino » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:41 pm

Doctors still trying to 'cure' gays Nearly a fifth of therapists admit having tried to 'cure' gay patients of their sexual orientation – even though there is no evidence their 'treatments' have any effect and despite the ethical questions posed.

The mental health professionals – most of whom work for the NHS – said they had gone further than simply counselling a young person on how to cope with homosexual feelings.

The findings have outraged medical experts and gay campaign groups, who say such an approach is unethical and may harm patients.

Gino Meriano Chair of Gay Surrey comments “ It’s truly sad in our society that trained health care professionals who are treating venerable people still believe that being gay is a medical condition. The medical profession including the NHS needs to act quickly to eradicate this institutionalised homophobia and potential breach of their human rights obligation. I will be seeking an action plan from Surreys NHS Trusts regarding this matter”.

The findings come from a survey of 1,400 therapists questioned by researchers from University College London.

It revealed 17 per cent of mental health workers admitted trying to 'cure' homosexual patients.

Three-quarters of these workers said a medical service should be set up to carry out the 'treatment'.

One therapist told the researchers: 'Although homosexual feelings are usual in people, their physical expression and being a person's only way of having sexual relations is problematic.

'The physical act for male homosexuals is physically damaging and is the main reason in this country for Aids/HIV. It is also perverse.'

Many of the therapists told researchers they had treated clients who felt they would 'lose God' or had been ostracised by their communities.

The trend had not diminished with time, concluded the researchers, whose study was published in the journal BioMed Central Psychiatry.

Prof Michael King, who led the study, said: 'There is very little evidence to show that attempting to treat a person's homosexual feelings is effective and, in fact, it can actually be harmful. So it is surprising that a significant min¬ority of practitioners still offer this help to their clients.'

The Department of Health added: 'Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need treatment.

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