05 September 2012


If prayer, cold showers and ECT doesn't work there's always castration?

The Medical Council of NSW Professional Standards Committee (PSC), in responding to a complaint made to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, has censured a Sydney doctor for prescribing cyprostat - dubbed chemical castration - to a fellow member of the Exclusive Brethren Church on the basis of that member's homosexuality.

The PSC's findings [PDF] under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) are worth reading, both for the handling of a difficult area of law and for an insight into the stance of some practitioners - and some religious sects - regarding same sex affinity.

The Commission indicates that it
recently prosecuted Dr Mark Christopher James Craddock, a general practitioner and radiologist, before a Medical Professional Standards Committee. The prosecution resulted from a complaint by a patient about Dr Craddock’s treatment of him. Both were members of the Exclusive Brethren church and the patient consulted Dr Craddock in relation to his homosexuality. 
The Commission argued that Dr Craddock was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in that he failed to provide appropriate medical management of the patient’s therapeutic needs by:
  • failing to physically examine the patient or take a medical history 
  • failing to refer the patient to a counsellor or psychologist 
  • prescribing cyprostat (a drug used to treat prostate cancer or to manage sexual deviation by reduction of testosterone), in circumstances which were not clinically indicated 
  • failing to discuss side effects of the drug 
  • failing to organise appropriate follow up. 
The Commission also alleged that Dr Craddock failed to observe appropriate professional boundaries by consulting with the patient at his home rather than his surgery. 
Dr Craddock admitted most of the particulars of the Commission’s complaint, and that he was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct. 
In its decision of 23 August 2012, the Committee ordered that Dr Craddock be severely reprimanded and that conditions be placed on his registration, including that he:
  • only practice in the field of radiology; 
  • only prescribe medication in his place of practice as part of radiology treatment, other than in emergency situations.