Context: The National Medical Commission (NMC), the highest regulatory body of medical experts in India, wrote to all State Medical Councils, outlawing conversion therapy and calling it “professional misconduct”.
As per the letter, NMC followed a Madras High Court declaration to give an official report detailing conversion therapy as faulty, under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
Conversion therapy and associated risks
- Conversion or reparative therapy is an intervention sought at transforming the sexual exposure or gender individuality of an individual with the usage of either psychiatric treatment, drugs, exorcism or even violence, with the purpose being to make the individual a heterosexual.
- Conversion therapy encloses measures to alter the root individuality of youth whose gender self-identity is incongruent with their sexual anatomy.
- Frequently, the therapy is delivered by charlatans with small expertise in negotiating the problem.
- According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the intercede under conversion therapy are delivered under the incorrect hypothesis that homosexuality and diverse gender self-identity are pathological.
- “They are not; the lack of pathology implies there is no necessity for conversion or interference.”
- Additionally, according to AACAP and other health specialists, conversion therapy poses the stake of inducing or aggravating mental health illnesses, like anxiety, stress and drug usage which periodically actually lead to suicide.
Role of Madras High Court and its significance
- Madras High Court gave a directive on a case about the trial of a same sex couple who pursued police safeguard from their parents.
- Pending adequate legislation, and extra protection of the community, the Court issued provisional guidelines for the police, activists, Union and State Social Welfare Ministries, and the National Medical Commission to “guarantee their security and safeness to direct a life determined by them.”
- The ruling outlawed any endeavour to medically “heal” or alter the sexual orientation of LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual or of any other exposure) people.
- It insisted the authorities take action against “professional[s] concerning themselves in any format or technique of conversion therapy,” which could contain the withdrawal of authorisation to rehearse medicine.
- On July 8, 2022, the court decreed to the National Medical Commission to “administer essential authorised statement by enrolling ‘Conversion Therapy’ as a proficient misconduct.”
Role of Educational institutions:
- Specialists say academies and colleges must provoke transformations in curricula for a more reasonable version of the community.
- As late as 2018, medical textbooks detailed homosexuality and lesbianism as a “perversion”.
- Individuals of a distinct sexual orientation or gender individuality frequently describe hellish tales of bullying, prejudice, stigma and ostracisation.
- Gender neutral restrooms should be mandatory in educational academies and other locales.
- Parents too should be sensitised, because the first point of misapprehension and misuse frequently initiates at home, with teenagers being compelled to opt for “conversion” treatments.
- Health experts point out that even grown-ups opting for sex reassignment surgeries ought to get appropriate direction like therapy pre and post-operation; for a prosaic citizen, the price too can be prohibitive.
It's challenging to understand precisely how overall the practice is. There is no formal legal definition and victims may be hesitant to share their incidents. There is no sound scientific evidence that innate sexual orientation could be changed. Furthermore, the conversion therapy can create a setting in which social prejudice and discrimination could flourish and potential harmul for harmony in society.