No place for conversion therapy
The AMA has fully condemned the notion of conversion therapy aimed at “curing” homosexuality, saying there is no place for it in this day and age.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has failed to condemn the discredited practice, which was originally promoted by fundamental churches in the United States but has long been described by psychiatrists and the medical fraternity as bogus and even harmful.
Yet some fundamentalists have begun talking about the “merits” of the practice again.
When asked about it on Melbourne Radio 3AW, Mr Morrison said it was not an issue for him and he had no intention in getting involved in the debate.
“I respect people of all sexualities, I respect people of all religions, all faiths. I love all Australians,” the Prime Minister said
“I’ve never been involved in anything like that, I’ve never supported anything like that. It's just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue.”
AMA President Dr Tony Bartone would have liked the Prime Minister to have gone further with his remarks.
“It did seem to be a missed opportunity to put for once and for all that there is no place for conversion therapy in our society in the 21st century,” Dr Bartone told Sky News.
“We know that it’s associated with negative outcomes, it’s not based on any research, it's archaic, and it's only associated with long-term harm to the patients involved.”
Dr Bartone went on to talk about the Building Respectful Relationships school program, saying it was healthy to educate children about the risks of sexual assault and sexuality more broadly.
“The opportunity to have a broad-based education across the whole spectrum is obviously got to be in the long-term best interest of a broader understanding, a broader education, a broader appeal,” he said.
“And so anything that increases that understanding and that awareness we would think is a good thing.”
The AMA has also used social media to state its position regarding conversion therapy.
“The AMA unequivocally condemns conversion therapy, as does the World Medical Association,” it Tweeted.
The associated graphic in the Tweet states: “Conversion therapy is harmful to both the individuals who are subjected to it, and society more broadly, as it perpetuates the erroneous belief that homosexuality is a disorder which requires a cure.”
Published: 10 Sep 2018