Thursday, March 31, 2016

‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy Group Co-Founder’s Medical License Revoked for ‘Gross Negligence’ and ‘Unprofessional Conduct’

NARTH Co-Founder, Benjamin Kaufman, MD Retires in Disgrace After Patient Ends Up in Coma

CHICAGO – Psychiatrist Benjamin Kaufman, MD surrendered his medical license on October 7, 2015 to the Medical Board of California Department of Consumer Affairs. He is the co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a notorious group of discredited practitioners who promote the outdated idea that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured. NARTH, which has since rebranded itself The Alliance of Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, has deliberately concealed the professional misconduct of its co-founder for six months.

“We consistently find that those who practice ‘ex-gay’ therapy are unethical and unscrupulous,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “They are perpetrators of fraud and malpractice, who harm their clients in the name of helping them. Given this reality, we aren’t the least bit surprised to find that Benjamin Kaufman is a charlatan who had his license revoked for ‘gross negligence’ and ‘unprofessional conduct.’”

Ironically, it wasn’t his abuse of LGBT people that finally did in Dr. Kaufman. In 2008, Benjamin Kaufman was informed that one of his clients (listed as L.S. in the legal documents) was suffering from alcoholism and severe depression. According to California’s medical board, Kaufman, “continued to routinely prescribe Schedule III medications and mood stabilizers to L.S. without seeing L.S. in person…Respondent’s care and treatment of L.S. was an extreme departure from the standard of care by failing to adequately diagnose and manage chronic alcoholism leading to an irreversible neurological condition which resulted in the incapacitation of the patient….on September 9, 2011, L.S. fell into a coma.”

After the guilty verdict, the Sacramento-based Dr. Kaufman elected to retire from medicine. In its decision, the state wrote, “For the purpose of resolving the accusation without the expense and uncertainty of further proceedings, respondent (Kaufman) agrees that, at hearing, complainant could establish a factual basis for the charges in the accusation and those charges constitute discipline…Respondent understands that by signing this stipulation he enables Quacksthe Board to issue an order accepting the surrender of his Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate without further process.”

In 2015, Kaufman was sued for allegedly confining a Sacramento client behind “locked doors” and under watch of a “large dog.” According to Courthouse News Service:

A Sacramento psychiatrist who practices gay conversion therapy defamed a gay attorney-prison guard to his employer after confining him with “a large dog under compelled coercion,” the lawyer claims in court.

Calvin Chang says he was referred to Dr. Benjamin Kaufman after filing a discrimination complaint against his employer, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Chang, who’d complained that he was denied promotion because of his sexual orientation, claims there were “no facts or lawful basis whatsoever” to justify his referral to Kaufman. Chang says he is a licensed attorney with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience.

Chang says Kaufman subjected him to “reparative therapy” without his consent and threatened to have him fired if he didn’t accept the prisons department’s offer of demotion.

Chang damages for civil rights violations, defamation, discrimination, aiding and abetting discrimination, privacy invasion, fraud and deceit, violation of medical privacy, retaliation, professional negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Every respected medical and mental health association in America condemns conversion therapy. This includes The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association.

Last week, The World Psychiatric Association, an organization of national psychiatric societies consisting of 138 member societies across 118 different countries, released a position statement denouncing any attempts to turn LGBT people heterosexual.

“There is no sound scientific evidence that innate sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality can create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish, and they can be potentially harmful,” the statement says.

‘Ex-Gay’ therapy for minors (aka reparative or conversion therapy) is prohibited in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and the District of Colombia.

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.