Doc­tor treat­ing ho­mo­sex­u­als with elec­tric shock

■ Gupta was de­barred by DMC in 2016 but still pro­jected him­self as doc­tor

Deccan Chronicle - - Nation -

New Delhi, Dec. 8: A doc­tor, who terms ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity as “ge­netic men­tal dis­or­der” and uses elec­tric shock to treat gay and les­bian peo­ple, has been sum­moned by a Delhi court as an ac­cused for vi­o­lat­ing norms.

Though Dr P.K. Gupta was de-barred by the Delhi Med­i­cal Coun­cil (DMC), he was still in­dulging in this bizarre prac­tice. The court took note of a com­plaint against Gupta by the DMC, which claimed that he was us­ing hor­monal and shock ther­apy to pro­vide treat­ment.

The com­plaint said the DMC had de­barred Gupta in 2016 from prac­tis­ing in Delhi and as he was still pro­ject­ing him­self as a doc­tor, he was li­able for pros­e­cu­tion.

Metropoli­tan magistrate Ab­hi­lash Mal­ho­tra said treat­ment given by doc­tors as a part of “con­ver­sion ther­apy” was not recog­nised ei­ther by med­i­cal sci­ence or by leg­is­la­ture.

Con­ver­sion ther­apy is an at­tempt to change a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion us­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal or spir­i­tual in­ter­ven­tions. The court sum­moned the doc­tor as ac­cused say­ing he was prima fa­cie found to be con­tra­ven­ing a pro­vi­sion of the In­dian Med­i­cal Coun­cil Act which en­tails a max­i­mum of one year jail term.

“It is am­ply clear that the leg­is­la­ture in its pru­dence and vi­sion did not thought sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion to be part of men­tal ill­ness. Ac­cord­ingly, it is clear that the treat­ment given by the doc­tors as a part of ‘con­ver­sion ther­apy’ is not recog­nised ei­ther by the medicine or by the leg­is­la­tion,” the magistrate said.

The court said from the com­plaint, it was prima fa­cie clear that Gupta was prac­tis­ing as a doc­tor in Delhi de­spite be­ing de­barred by the DMC.

A per­son found prac­tis­ing with­out reg­is­tra­tion, even qual­i­fied, shall be li­able for ac­tion spec­i­fied by the coun­cil, it said.

The court, in its sum­mons, also re­ferred to the judge­ment on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity de­liv­ered by the Supreme Court which had de­crim­i­nalised con­sen­sual sex­ual acts be­tween two adults in pri­vate. Ini­tially, the coun­cil re­ceived a let­ter from An­jali Gopalan, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Naz Found-ation (In­dia) Trust, in­form­ing it about a news re­port in 2015 where some doc­tors ad­vo­cated for ‘con­ver­sion ther­apy’ claim­ing to con­vert “ho­mo­sex­u­als into het­ero­sex­u­als”.

◗ Gupta had de­scribed ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity as a ge­netic men­tal dis­or­der and be­lieved in ex­plor­ing ev­i­dence of child­hood psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age be­fore start­ing the treat­ment.

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