SYDNEY - An Australian doctor has been severely reprimanded and banned from working as a general practitioner after prescribing a drug to a boy who came to him for help to "cure" his homosexuality.
A Health Care Complaints Commission committee found Mark Craddock guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct over his treatment of the 18-year-old at a 10-minute consultation at his home in early 2008.
Both men were at the time members of the Exclusive Brethren, a conservative Christian group whose members shun television, radio, and the Internet and do not vote.
In a letter of complaint to the commission, the patient wrote that he came out as gay at the age of 18 and was informed by a church leader, "There's medication you can go on for these things."
The patient then consulted Craddock.
The commission argued that during the consultation the doctor did not provide appropriate medical management of the patient's needs by failing to physically examine him or take a medical history.
He also failed to refer him to a counsellor or psychologist.
Craddock instead prescribed cyprostat, a drug used to treat prostate cancer and manage sexual deviation by reducing testosterone, in circumstances which were not clinically indicated, the commission alleged.
The committee found that Craddock, while well qualified and experienced, also failed to organise appropriate follow up with the patient.
Craddock, 75, admitted most of the particulars of the complaint.
"The outcome of this inquiry was that Dr Craddock was found guilty of unsatisfactory processional conduct," the committee said in its decision made public on Tuesday.
"He was severely reprimanded and practice restrictions were placed on his registration," it said, including that he only practise in the field of radiology.