National Medical Commission forbids conversion therapy

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02/22/2022

CHENNAI: Any doctor found engaged in conversion therapy — a controversial gender and sexual reorientation practice often slammed as pseudoscience — is liable to be prosecuted for professional misconduct, the National Medical Commission (NMC) told the Madras high court. The council made its stand clear while making a submission on a recommendation by a committee constituted to modify the MBBS syllabus so that medical students could be sensitised to the sexual orientations of people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. The committee had been appointed in adherence to a directive issued by Justice N Anand Venkatesh. “In the recommendations, the committee made it very clear that any attempt/ interventions to change the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person, which is commonly referred to as conversion therapy, should be construed as a professional misconduct on the part of the medical professionals under the Indian Medical Council, Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulation, 2002,” said Justice Anand Venkatesh. The court added: “In view of the same, there shall be a direction to NMC to immediately circulate the report of the expert committee and the recommendations made to all state medical councils across the country.”

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