Showing posts with label Gay Cure?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Cure?. Show all posts

April 13, 2014

The NHS in England Trying to Cure Homosexuality

NHS, National Health Service, Gay, Homosexuality, Cure, Disease, Treatment, Insurance, Bupa, Christian Jessen, Embarrassing Bodies, Channel 4, BBC, Therapy, Channel 4's Christian Jessen[Mark Johnson for CHANNEL 4]

IT is a therapy available on the NHS which supporters say can help people turn away from unwanted feelings of same sex attraction but the underlying premise of gay conversion therapy has disturbing echoes of the pseudo science that led to lobotomies and electric shock treatment to cure people of homosexuality in the last century.

Gay-to-straight conversion therapy is based on the assumption sexuality is not innate and that people only become gay as a result of sexual abuse or trauma. It is founded on the idea that sexuality can be “corrected”.
Last week Health Minister Norman Lamb told NHS England to ensure GPs do not make any referrals to gay conversion therapy, described by gay rights activists as “voodoo”. He was speaking after MPs called a special debate in Westminster Hall urging ministers to impose regulation on the psychotherapy sector, including consideration of a ban on gay conversion therapy.
Despite the Government’s stance against such treatment, the NHS is unwittingly funding gay conversion therapy. The most recent study on the treatment from the University of London suggests one in six therapists would be willing to offer it. The poll of 1,300 UK therapists found more than 200 practitioners had attempted to change at least one patient’s sexual orientation, while 55 were still offering gay-to-straight therapy.
It is based on the completely false premise that there is something wrong with you if you happen to be gay.
Norman Lamb
With the help of the American conversion therapy movement, practitioners here, along with a clutch of international “conversion” organisations, are becoming coordinated and unified. They plan to gain credibility, university backing and government funding. This is despite the fact homosexuality was removed from psychiatry’s glossary of conditions four decades ago and disregards claims from professional counselling bodies that such practices are unscientific, damaging and ineffective.
Dr Christian Jessen, the British TV doctor who presents Embarrassing Bodies, explored some of the controversial therapies for “curing” homosexuality as part of a recent TV documentary.
Dr Jessen, who is in a long-term gay relationship, assessed the medical credibility of several “conversion” therapies by undergoing them himself and then taking tests to measures his sexual arousal afterwards. “It is ridiculous to think people are gay because of trauma,” he says. “The theory that you are not born gay but it happens as a result of emotional trauma you may not remember is potentially very damaging.” Historically, treatments for “curing” homosexuality, advocated predominantly by Right-wing fundamentalist religious organizations and groups, have included electric shock therapy, inducing nausea while being exposed to homoerotic material, praying, exorcism, trips to brothels to have sex with women and hypnosis. Dr Jessen tested out one of these therapies, which included drinking a cocktail that made him sick while playing a tape telling him he was worthless. “I drank the liquid and sat in my own vomit. I was very upset and distressed. It had no effect on my sexuality,” he says.
Most gay conversion therapists today are likely to use talking therapies to change people’s sexual orientation. Patrick Strudwick, a gay journalist, posed as a client in 2009.
Mr Strudwick, 36, from Hackney, east London, paid £40 per session at the north London home of his therapist. She claimed his homosexuality was “a mental illness, an addiction and an anti-religious phenomenon” caused by “wounds” in childhood.
She asked: “There was no sexual abuse? I think it will be there... It does need to come to the surface. You’ve allowed things to be done to you.”
She also suggested the abuse was carried out by a close relative.
Mr Strudwick says: “It was at that moment I realised how dangerous this kind of therapy is. If I had believed her it would have destroyed my family.”
However, one psychotherapist who offers “support” to those wanting to “manage, reduce or eliminate, where possible, unwanted same-sex attractions” has condemned Norman Lamb’s recent criticism of the gay-to-straight treatment.
NHS, National Health Service, Gay, Homosexuality, Cure, Disease, Treatment, Insurance, Bupa, Christian Jessen, Embarrassing Bodies, Channel 4, BBC, Therapy, Should the NHS provide these types of 'cure'? [GETTY]
Dr Mike Davidson, a 59-year-old father of two from Ballynahinch, near Belfast, has been married for more than 30 years and claims he has “overcome” homosexuality himself. He says: “I think Norman Lamb is making a foolish move. People know their minds well enough. Critics say trying to convert a person’s sexuality is like trying to turn a black person white. This is a poor analogy as sexual attraction is fluid and cannot possibly be all in the genes.”
Dr Davidson spoke to the Sunday Express after 15 cross-party MPs wrote to Norman Lamb demanding tougher measures on the regulation of therapists. Mr Lamb convened a round-table meeting last week to which he invited representatives of the Royal College of Psychiatrists as well as the gay pressure group Stonewall and others with concerns about counselling intended to help or persuade people attracted by the same sex to eradicate those feelings.
Dr Davidson, who runs the Christian missionary trust Core Issues and who has worked in counselling since 2005, uses role play and talking therapies to “help” his patients banish feelings of attraction to members of the same sex. He believes that homosexual urges stem from trauma, including early abuse, a dominant parent or sibling or being bullied at school.
However Richard Lane from the gay rights group Stonewall says “voodoo gay cure therapies” can be deeply harmful for people coming to terms with their sexual orientation.
“It is vital when people are getting access to treatment they are offered therapies that are based on sound scientific evidence which this is not. All main bodies representing psychotherapists, psychiatrists and counsellors are absolutely clear these treatments are not only ineffective but can be deeply harmful. It can be devastating to someone’s self esteem to be told something that is fundamentally part of who they are is something to be cured.”
Mr Lamb has written to NHS England to stress that NHS money should no longer be spent in this way. “There are steps we can take to make sure it has no place in the NHS,” he wrote. “We can also send a clear signal that health professionals within the NHS should not be referring people.
“It is based on the completely false premise that there is something wrong with you if you happen to be gay. I certainly want to do what I can, as a Liberal Democrat, to eradicate this.”
An NHS England spokesman said: “So-called gay-to-straight conversion therapy is harmful nonsense and the NHS should never be funding it.”

February 3, 2014

Appeals Court Denies Further Review to CA. Laws Banning Gay Conversion

The US Court of Appeals ruled Jan 29 that a California law banning gay conversion therapy for minors can remain in place, the San Jose Mercury reports. 
After it was passed in 2012, conversion therapists challenged the law, saying it restricted their free speech. In August, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the ban was acceptable regulation of a dangerous medical practice; now, the full court has confirmed the ruling.
"These practices have no scientific basis and can cause serious, lasting harms that devastate families and destroy young lives," says Shannon Minter, an attorney who defended the law in court.
Three of 27 judges on the court said that the law should be given further review. The only recourse for proponents of gay conversion therapy in California now that the ban has been upheld would be to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.

January 28, 2013

These T-Cells Are Resistant to HIV but They Also Kill The Virus

 Scientists at Stanford University have genetically engineered cells that are resistant to HIV, which could lead to an alternative therapy for people on heavy drug treatment plan
Scientists at Stanford University have genetically engineered cells that are resistant to HIV, which could lead to an alternative therapy for people on heavy drug treatment plans.

According to a Stanford press release, the procedure uses molecular scissors to cut into T-cells, and then insert a series of HIV-resistant genes. The virus was therefore blocked from entering the cells, which is typically how it invades and then destroys the immune system.

Scientists also anticipated the ever-mutating forms of HIV by engineering the cell on multiple fronts to become resistant to the virus. Matthew Porteus MD, an associate professor at Stanford explained that by also inactivating the receptors that the virus typically uses to enter cells, the cell becomes even further protected.

"We can use this strategy to make cells that are resistant to both major types of HIV," he said. This tailored gene therapy could reduce or replace an HIVer's daily drug regimen, but clinical trials would still have to take place before the approach can be administered on humans.

"Providing an infected person with resistant T-cells would not cure their viral infection," assistant professor Sara Sawyer, PhD, added. "However, it would provide them with a protected set of T-cells that would ward off the immune collapse that typically gives rise to AIDS."

There are other issues that must be worked out with the genetically altered cells. Porteus cautions that the cells may rupture, causing a break elsewhere, leading to cancer or other cell aberration. He said it’s also possible the cells may not tolerate the genetic change.


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