Gay conversion therapist 'cured' male patients by having sex with them in his office
A male patient sits with a psychiatrist holding a clipboard. Image via Shutterstock.

A psychiatrist who believes being gay is a "sexual disorder" and specialized in "treating" people for their homosexuality was found guilty of sexually abusing two male patients.


The Toronto Star reported Friday that Dr. Melvyn Iscove, 72, was found guilty by the Ontario medical regulator of the abuse, which was believed by his patients to be part of his "treatment" for their homosexuality.

The two patients who spoke to the five-person discipline panel said 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."

Iscove "engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex with two male patients on different occasions during therapy sessions, and once had anal intercourse with one of them in his office," the panel found.

Though homosexuality hasn't been considered a psychiatric disorder in 30 years and attempts to "cure" it have been discredited as traumatic, the Toronto psychiatrist in his defense introduced passages from 1950's psychoanalyst Dr. Edmund Bergler, whose theorizing on homosexuality included the concept that "there are no happy homosexuals."

Iscove, who also faces a disciplinary hearing by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada related to allegations of "improper conduct in a public men’s washroom," had his license immediately suspending and will be subject to a penalty hearing.

"During a penalty hearing," the Star noted, "doctors found to have had sex with a patient automatically lose their license."