A Toronto-based psychiatrist who practiced gay “cure” therapy has been found guilty of sexual misconduct.
During an investigation, Ontario’s medical regulator described 72 year-old Dr Melvyn Iscove as having a “special interest” in treating gay patients.
The committee also found that Iscove engaged in sex acts with patients during therapy sessions and once had sexual intercourse with a male patient in his office.
The allegations, which Iscove still denies, date back to the early 2000s.
Explaining their findings, the five-member discipline panel wrote:
Neither complainant described any emotional or romantic aspects of the sexual activity with Dr Iscove, and both said that at some point, they thought that the sexual activity was part of the therapy and an attempt to cure them of homosexuality by engaging in the acts, rather than fantasizing about them.
Following the panel’s verdict, Iscove’s licence was immediately suspended while a penalty hearing is scheduled. Doctors found to have had sex with a patient automatically lose their licence.
Since the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1992, the idea that homosexuality can be "cured" has been widely discredited.
Earlier this month, the European Parliament condemned so-called conversion therapy, advising EU member states to ban it. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon recently clashed with US Vice President Mike Pence over his previous support for therapies which claim to "cure" homosexuality.
Ontario, where Iscove’s offences took place, became the first Canadian province to ban gay conversion therapy in 2015.