Is conversion therapy ethical? A renewed discussion in the context of legal efforts to ban it

G. Andrade, M. Campo Redondo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Although homosexuality ceased to be considered a mental disorder in 1973, some psychiatrists and mental health practitioners still offer so-called conversion therapy, i.e., a series of techniques that attempt to change a person's sexual orientation. Given the current geopolitical situation worldwide, some countries have begun to attempt to ban conversion therapy. In this context, it is important to renew a discussion about the ethics of conversion therapy. Methodology: In this article, we rely on a review of scientific literature in order to analyze the most important ethical shortcomings of conversion therapy, focusing on its potential harms, lack of efficiency, and its disregard for basic principles of medical ethics. Results: Literature on the effectiveness of conversion therapy reveals that this approach has more risks than benefits, and rests upon scientifically questionable premises. Conclusion: We conclude that, although morality and legality are separate spheres, conversion therapy should be legally banned.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100732
JournalEthics, Medicine and Public Health
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Conversion therapy
  • Efficacy
  • Ethics
  • Homosexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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