The British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to ban so-called conversion therapies aimed at altering a person’s sexuality.
More than two-thirds of the doctors who make up the BMA approved the motion at its annual meeting in Brighton, which called on member bodies to ban such treatments in their codes of practice.
The meeting also decided that health departments should investigate cases where conversion therapies were being funded with taxpayers’ money through the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
A 2009 survey conducted by London’s University College found that one in six British psychiatrists and counsellors would still offer conversion therapies to GLBT people, with a third of those having patients referred to them by NHS doctors.
“You can’t just wish away same-sex attraction, no matter how socially inconvenient it is … Treating same-sex attraction as a disease that can be cured has an insidious effect to pathologise what is part of the normal spectrum of human sexuality,” Dr Tom Dolphin of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee — which proposed the resolution — told journalists following the meeting.