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Bloody Sunday, election, Irish, Ireland, British, Ulster, Unionist, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Ahern, Blair, Irish America

"Gay treating" doc faces probe

(by Liam Clarke, Sunday Times)

A Belfast psychiatrist who offers "reorientation" counselling to homosexuals wishing to become heterosexuals, says has been referred to the General Medical Council following complaints.

Dr Paul Miller's controversial treatment was endorsed by DUP MP Iris Robinson during a radio interview in which she described homosexuality as an "abomination".

Miller said last week that the medical council was investigating whether he a case to answer. "They have sent me a number of newspaper cuttings for my comments and a leaflet of advice for doctors who have been referred to the GMC" he said.

Robinson has said that Miller acted as her health adviser and she described him on air as "a lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my office trying to turn homosexuals away from what they are engaged in."

Miller had sought advice from Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (Jonah) on how to deal with criticism or reorientation therapy by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In its advice Jonah praises his work and warns that he is up against a worldwide "campaign to erode the patient care ethic".

Miller works only with ego dystonic homosexuals, that is those do not want to experience same sex attraction.

Orthodox treatment for people who are disturbed by their homosexuality encourages them to come to terms with it.

Philip McGarry of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said "I would be extremely dubious about someone's sexual orientation being reversed and would go so far to say there is no recognised professional psychiatric body in the western world that would support this belief."

Miller broadly agrees with Robinson's views. He said "My study of scripture has led me to believe that homosexual activity is contrary to God's word."

He has set up a group, Abeo, in Belfast to promote his approach.

June 16, 2008

This article first appeared in the Sunday Times on June 15, 2008.