Advocates for gay Christians and others have said the “completely outrageous” actions of a Sydney doctor and member of the controversial Exclusive Brethren Christian sect to “cure” a young gay man of his homosexuality by chemically castrating him should serve as a reminder to the community about the dangers of so-called reparative therapy.
In findings released this week, the Medical Council of NSW has banned radiologist and doctor, Mark Christopher James Craddock, from practising as a GP after he prescribed the drug Cyprostat to an 18-year-old New Zealand man in 2008 who had come to see him about his sexuality on the behest of other church elders.
The man, who was then also a member of the sect, was prescribed the drug used to treat advanced prostate cancer or to manage sexual deviation after only a 10-minute consultation. The man was also given five repeats of the script.
The incident only came to light after the man filed a complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) in 2010.
In hearings held in July, Dr Craddock, 75, said he should not have prescribed the drug after admitting he did not take a medical history, conduct a physical examination, take an adequate sexual history or arrange a follow-up appointment while he also did not refer the patient to a counsellor or psychologist to discuss his issues.
In 2004, Dr Craddock (pictured) was seriously reprimanded for prescribing an anti-depressant over the telephone to a woman who he did even examine or talk to after her husband called complaining about his wife's moods. Both were members of the Exclusive Brethren.
DOCTOR'S TREATMENT SLAMMED
NSW Greens MP John Kaye told SX it was simply unacceptable for any doctor to treat homosexuality with drugs that are designed for recalcitrant sex offenders.
“It is also deeply disturbing that a church leader would believe that this is an appropriate response to an 18 year old declaring his sexuality,” Kaye said.
“To the extent that the doctor was caught and appropriately excluded from the profession, the system is working. Our concern is how many other doctors continue to pathologise any sexual behaviour that might offend their narrow-minded religious beliefs.”
Anthony Venn-Brown, a gay Christian advocate and founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International, told SX the case was one of the “most horrendous” he had come across in many years researching reparative or ‘ex-gay’ therapies, all of which had potential to cause great harm and trauma.
“This is the most horrendous case of abuse and ignorance I have come across. It is reminiscent of archaic treatments, like aversion therapy inflicted on gay men 60-70 years ago. The most disturbing thing about this case is that it would by no means be an isolated incident. One wonders how many men within the exclusive brethren he has treated this way and if some of those might not even be alive today to tell us the story".