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John McMillan, University of Otago

Banning conversion therapies

The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has signed a Bill that will ban ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies in that State. These are interventions that aim at ‘curing’ homosexuality or at least, controlling homosexual desires. There have been reported cases of exorcisms, shock treatment and aversive therapies not unlike those that were used in Stanley Kubrick and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange.Read More »Banning conversion therapies

Chemical castration and homosexuality

Last week the Sydney Herald published details about an Australian Doctor who has been struck off as a GP (although not as a Radiologist) after prescribing Cyprostat to an 18 year man in order to treat his homosexuality.1 Both men were members of the Exclusive Brethren Church and the patient was taken to see Dr Craddock by a member of the church after being advised that there are treatments for homosexuality.

The Medical Council of New South Wales criticized him for not taking an appropriate medical history, not doing a physical examination, not referring his patient for counselling and not ordering medical tests to detect adverse reactions to the drug. Dr Craddock admitted that he did not do these things and, given that his departure from sound clinical skills occurred when using a powerful medical for such a radical purpose, it is not surprising that the court reached a finding of unsatisfactory, professional conduct.Read More »Chemical castration and homosexuality

‘Spend a day with Charlie Teo’

Over the last few days the Australian media has been covering Sydney based Charlie Teo’s auction of ring side seats in his operating theatre. The auction is reported as raising about $1500 for a children’s cancer charity and while this might raise some eyebrows Teo has been clear about his commitment to ensuring that patient care is not compromised in any way.

He is a highly regarded neurosurgeon who has pioneered minimally invasive techniques and has a reputation for taking on very difficult cases. He’s also a prominent and respected public figure: he was a State finalist for Australian of the year in 2010, is the founder of the Cure for Life Foundation and was awarded Member of the Order of Australia. (The Australian Jan 26th 2011) Despite his high profile and assurances, he has attracted criticism from his peers.
Read More »‘Spend a day with Charlie Teo’