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GP banned for prescribing 'gay cure'

Last updated 11:43 05/09/2012

An Auckland man was prescribed chemical castration as a cure for homosexuality. 

His Sydney doctor is now banned from medicine.

In 2008, Exclusive Brethren member and GP Mark Christopher James Craddock, 75, wrote the 18-year-old a script for the anti-androgen therapy cyproterone acetate (Cyprostat) during a 10-minute consultation in his home.

The drug that Craddock prescribed - with five repeats - lowers libido by reducing the amount of testosterone. It is used to treat prostate cancer and severe male sexual disorders and sexual deviation.

The patient cannot be named for legal reasons, but was a member of the Exclusive Brethren church at the time.

In a letter of complaint to Australia's Health Care Complaints Commission, he said when, at the age of 18 he came out as gay, a church leader told him, ''there's medication you can go on''.

''He recommended that I speak to Dr Craddock on the matter with a view to my being placed on medication to help me with my 'problem','' said the man.

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In a hearing before the professional standards committee of the Medical Council of NSW in June, Craddock admitted he did not obtain a medical history, conduct a physical examination, take an adequate sexual history or arrange a follow-up appointment.

He did not refer the patient to a counsellor or a psychologist, despite the drug manufacturer's recommendation, and did not order a liver test or discuss the side effects, which include impotence.

Craddock conceded it was potentially dangerous for a patient to have that much medication unsupervised. He said, in hindsight, he should not have prescribed it at all.

Last month the committee found him guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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