The National Medical Commission (NMC) on Friday, 2 September, declared the so-called 'conversion therapy' – an unscientific practice of subjecting queer people to intervention in order to “cure” them – an act of professional misconduct.
During the hearing at Madras High Court, the NMC said that it had adhered to the court's 8 July order by banning the act under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
What Did the Madras HC Say?
The Madras HC had on 10 July issued a series of directions for the upliftment of the LGBTQ+ community, including asking the NMC to label "conversion therapy" as professional misconduct.
This directive came in continuation of the earlier directions issued by the court, where the NMC was asked to ensure that state medical councils notified conversion therapy as misconduct, to bring uniformity in rules.
Justice Anand Venkatesh, who was hearing the matter on the Draft Conduct Regulations 2022, noted that despite earlier directions, the draft only classified gender-based discrimination as misconduct and had excluded mention of "conversion therapy."
“In view of the same, there shall be a direction to the National Medical Council to immediately circulate the report of the expert committee and the recommendations made to all the state medical councils across the country,” the high court had said in its order.
The court also directed the standing counsel of the NMC to refer to the petitioner's suggestions on conversion practices and their subsequent scope for prohibition.
Further, based on earlier training material, the senior panel counsel for the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) submitted that a module titled 'Training Module on Integrating Transgender Concerns in Schooling Process' has been developed in consultation with different stakeholders.