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6 Sep 2012

Australian doctor banned for prescribing gay 'cure' to teen

An Australian doctor has been severely reprimanded and banned from working as a general practitioner after prescribing a drug to a teen who came to him for help to "cure" his homosexuality.

An Australian doctor who is a member of the Exclusive Brethren Christian sect has been banned from practising as a General Practitioner after he prescribed chemical castration to a gay teen who sought a "cure" for homosexuality, according to Australian media reports on Wednesday.

Watch video here. Craig Hoyle, 23, says he had sought help from the church leaders when he realised he was gay at the age of 16. “There were prayers, and I was told I had demons, and none of it worked.”But Mr Hoyle was told there was a medication he could take to "fix" him, and says he was told to visit Sydney GP Mark Craddock, who was also a member of the church. Read more on 3news.

Dr Mark Christopher James Craddock, 75, wrote the 18-year-old patient, who was at the time a member of the same Exclusive Brethren church the doctor attended, a prescription for the anti-androgen drug cyproterone acetate (sold under the brand name Cyprostat) during a 10-minute consultation in his home in February 2008. Dr Craddock gave the New Zealander teen 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 to chemically castrate violent sex offenders.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, in a letter of complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission, the patient said when 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.

Now 23, Craig Hoyle said in a recent TV interview says he had sought help from the church leaders when he realised he was gay at the age of 16.

“I believed homosexuality was a sin, that the church could help me cure, so for the next few months they did everything they could to try and change me,” he was quoted as saying on 3news.

“There were prayers, and I was told I had demons, and none of it worked.”

But it wasn't until he left the church in 2009 that he plucked up the courage to lay a complaint against the doctor.

“To know that he's not going to be able to do this to anyone else is a significant step,” he says. “I’ve known all along what he did was wrong, but to have that acknowledged by the medical board is important to me.”

In a hearing before the professional standards committee of the Medical Council of New South Wales 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. Nor did he 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.

Last month the committee found him guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct. In its decision of 23 August 2012, the Medical Professional Standards Committee ordered that Dr Craddock be severely reprimanded and that conditions be placed on his registration, including that he only practices in the field of radiology; and only prescribes medication in his place of practice as part of radiology treatment, other than in emergency situations.

The full decision is available on the Medical Council of NSW website.


Reader's Comments

1. 2012-09-06 21:14  
These quacks are dangerous. It's time to start putting them in jail. Same goes for any religious sects that claim they can 'cure' gay people. They do so much harm to both the individuals, psychologically, and to society by the prejudice they spread.
2. 2012-09-06 21:55  
He is no quack but an old doc who has practiced for so many years, he is someone who seriously thought he was doing what his god would like to have done. Religion is sometimes a license to kill.
3. 2012-09-06 22:53  
Religion is sometimes a license to kill.

Wrong. Religion is ALWAYS a license to kill. Dr Craddock, shame on you, you nasty old fuck.
4. 2012-09-06 23:42  
@2, he is a quack, which is why he's been banned from practising as a GP. He should be in jail.

People who put their personal religious beliefs before ethical medical practise are all quacks.
5. 2012-09-06 23:54  
What, if any permanant physical (or psychological) effects did the Cyprostat drug regimen have on this particular young man? Has he now fully recoverd from the "chemical castration" or are the effects long lasting?
6. 2012-09-07 00:19  
If you want to work in the medical (or any science-related field like engineering) surely you cannot also believe in non-science BS. For the licensing authority to license a doctor who believes homosexuality is a sickness or choice, or a psychiatrist who believes in demons, or an engineer who believes Pi=3 (because the bible says so) is grossly negligent. Roll on a couple of lawsuits and this will be sorted quick smart.
7. 2012-09-07 00:24  
@5, well there's one one side effect at least in its favour- he's been cured of Evangelical Christianity. Maybe it should be prescribed to the whole sect.
Comment #8 was deleted by its author on 2012-09-07 20:06
9. 2012-09-07 07:56  
Religion is ALWAYS a license to kill? What about Buddhism? Bahá'í Faith? Eckankar? Unitarian Universalism? Early Christianity before, say, 100 or 200 AD? Confucianism and Taoism?
10. 2012-09-07 08:57  
I wonder if there is a drug to cure Christianity? In the USA we need it big time!
11. 2012-09-07 10:04  
In defence of Christians,

All those so called Christians that feel the need to so publicly assert that they are Christians are obviously not!!
12. 2012-09-07 10:04  
In defence of Christians,

All those so called Christians that feel the need to so publicly assert that they are Christians are obviously not!!
13. 2012-09-07 13:30  
I agree with Tim1975. This is not just a question of ethics. It's a question of illegality. He knowingly prescribed medication that has not been approved for the "condition" he was trying to "cure". That is illegal in most countries and, if it isn't in Australia, it should be. Tim1975 is right. This dick head should be in jail. He should be in the slammer getting his arse ripped apart by his horny, pussy-starved inmates who'd gladly ravage a good arse any day. In the absence of pussy, of course.
14. 2012-09-07 14:01  
and the world is a better place for it...
Comment #15 was deleted by its author on 2012-09-07 15:42
Comment #16 was deleted by its author on 2012-09-07 15:42
17. 2012-09-07 15:41  
Kudos to you Chris for having the courage to blow the whistle on this one. This quack doctor, religious bigot, should be made to take his own medicine... Personally I would sue him for malpractice.
18. 2012-09-07 15:47  
mmm... barbaric views from tolerant Singapore...
19. 2012-09-07 17:34  
Disease SHOULD be treated!

Someone get this doctor the mental health care he needs.
20. 2012-09-07 20:29  
I do not recall where in the Bible it truncates pi to 3.0. However...

This is a quote from
a website by Martin Gaskell, Astronomy Department, University of Texas, Austin

“(my) loving duty to seek the truth in all things, in so far as God has granted that to human reason.” - Copernicus

“I believe Divine Providence intervened so that by chance I found what I could never obtain by my own efforts. I believe this all the more because I have constantly prayed to God that I might succeed if what Copernicus said was true.” “[my salvation lies] only and alone on the services of Jesus Christ.” - Kepler

"The Holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the Divine Word...God is known...by Nature in His works and by doctrine in His revealed word.” “The Bible teaches how one goes to Heaven, not how the heavens go.” - Galileo

“There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.” [Biblical prophecy was not intended by God to] “gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foretell things” but rather that: “after they are fulfilled, they might be interpreted by events...The events of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence.” - Sir Isaac Newton

“All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths in the sacred scriptures.” [Quoted by H.H. Halley 1965, “Halley's Bible Handbook” 24th ed., p.19] - Herschel

“science without religion is lame” Einstein

"If you take the outstanding physicists, the ones who have done the most to advance modern physics, especially Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Dirac, you will find them all interested in religion. All these men were intensely interested in religion.” [In “The Intellectuals Speak out about God”, Chpt. 3, ed. R. A. Varghese, 1984, p. 45] - Margenau

Like Islam Judaism, and other religions, Christianity is full of charlatans who have their own ungodly agenda. It is far more accomplished a feat to recognize them and reject their heresy, than to condemn an enitire body of believers. Otherwise it is like being a lazy doctor, who would rather kill the patient, than treat them.
21. 2012-09-08 01:47  
@20, "I do not recall where in the Bible it truncates pi to 3.0. " -

I Kings 7:23-26 gives the diameter of a giant bowl as 10 units and the circumference as 30, in other words making pi =3 .

The writer of I Kings was probably just giving the nearest whole number, an approximation, but that idea is unacceptable to biblical literalists, because it means they are wrong to take absolutely everything literally. But either the passage is mistaken, or it was meant as an approximation.
22. 2012-09-08 05:44  
Comment #23 was deleted by its author on 2012-09-08 06:20
24. 2012-09-08 06:28  
Very interesting. I did not previously recall that passage, but there it is, as you pointed out, and thanks! It would be a VERY good argument against a literalist who is not a mathematician. But many (you, and Biblical scholars, included) already know Pi is a transcendental number without final resolution. Much like e, as in e^x, and others. So, the very expression of Pi is a truncation. The Bibilical version of Pi would therefore be off by ~ 4.7%.

This discussion led me back to another thought...how did the Romans add, subtract, multiply and divide, and use decimal points? Fractions? You indicated it was a world of integers back then, but it would be rather interesting to experience the part of a Roman schoolboy whose magister was teaching him arithmetic.

Oh, and "cubit" antother interesting term...the approximate length of a man's arm from the fingertips to the elbow, but whose arm? Caesar's I guess. But the Old Testament uses the word, in the dimensions of Noah's Ark for example. How did they get by with no apparent or accurate standard of measurement?

The literalists forget the Bible is a guide for everyone to live happily, not some sort of weapon to pound on someone's head.

Thanks again for your comment.
25. 2012-09-08 07:33  
The Bible is an handy door stop and is not to be taken seriously it always poses more questions then it answers...
26. 2012-09-08 10:04  
I wish there's somebody from the gay-friendly Christian community who'd share his thought on this. I mean, while Religion may perhaps be a license to kill, the extreme advocates are the devil ones.

Wish there was more compassion than punishment for those coming to terms with homosexuality.
27. 2012-09-08 20:07  
There are, gay-friendly Christian communities out there. One is the Metropolitain Community Church, and other movements like Integrity (Episcopal) Dignity (Catholic) and others in Lutheran and other denominations of Christianity. I do not know about Bali though, but I read that there are many Christians and Muslims in the community.

The Bible brings more answers to those who read it, not to those who use it as a "handy door stop". Few seem to remember it got translated through several iterations and languages, which can introduce problems with the message.
28. 2012-09-09 07:50  
Quite, making it a usefull door stop... :o)
29. 2012-09-09 20:42  
Personally I dont consider any book to be a "useful door stop". I don't believe they belong in a fire, as the Nazis did 80 years ago. So do you believe other religious texts are "useful door stops" or fire fuel?? Lesse, start out with the Torah and Qur'an? The Diamond Sutra and Vinaya Pitaka? Books by Bahá'u'lláh?The Five Classics, Four Books and Thirteen Classics of Confucianism?The Śruti and Smriti texts? Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi or Daozang? All "useful door stops", right? Or fuel for a furnace?

Hmmmm revisiting history here...

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