Exclusive Brethren GP banned for prescribing gay 'cure'
Sep 5, 2012
Chemical castration ... the drug Cyprostat was prescribed to cure a gay man's homosexuality. Photo: Michel O'Sullivan
A SYDNEY doctor who is a member of the Exclusive Brethren Christian sect has been banned from practising as a GP after he prescribed chemical castration to a young man who sought a ''cure'' for homosexuality.
Mark Christopher James Craddock, 75, wrote the 18-year-old patient a script for the anti-androgen therapy cyproterone acetate (Cyprostat) during a 10-minute consultation in his home in February 2008.
The patient, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was at the time a member of the Exclusive Brethren church.
In a letter of complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission, the patient 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','' the New Zealand resident said.
Dr Craddock gave him a prescription for Cyprostat as well as five repeats. The drug, which lowers libido by reducing the amount of testosterone, is used to treat prostate cancer and severe male sexual disorders and sexual deviation.
In a hearing before the professional standards committee of the Medical Council of NSW in June, Dr 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.
Dr 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.