Psychiatrist who tried to ‘cure’ gay people sexually abused two male patients
A psychiatrist who believed that being gay was a ‘disorder’ sexually abused two of his male patients as part of their ‘treatment’.
Dr Melvyn Iscove has been found guilty of sexual misconduct by a medical regulator in Ontario, Canada.
The 72-year-old engaged in oral sex and mutual masturbation with two of his patients during their therapy sessions, and had anal intercourse with one of them in his office, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario discipline committee found.
The allegations are dated back to the late 1980s, the 1990s and 2000s.
The first patient began seeing Iscove in his 20s because he was depressed, anxious, and thought he might be gay.
He said he saw Iscove as a father figure but the psychiatrist asked if he thought of him sexually.
Iscove and his victim reportedly participated in 15 to 20 sessions where they would perform oral sex and engage in mutual masturbation.
The second patient started seeing Iscove in the 80s when he was 18.
He said he considered himself to be straight up to that point and was seeing Iscove for his anxiety and depression.
But Iscove made him read passages from Dr Bergler and claimed his fantasies about heterosexual relationships were actually him covering up his homosexuality, according to the Toronto Star.
The patient started to believe he was homosexual.
He told Iscove he wanted to experiment with a homosexual partner and the doctor offered himself as an option.
The two then participated in mutual masturbation and oral sex.
One time the patient even brought a condom and asked Iscove to penetrate him, which he agreed to do.
Iscove was described by the committee as having a ‘special interest in the treatment of patients with problems related to homosexuality.’
The committee released its report last week after it suspended his license, the Toronto Star reported.
Both of his victims are now in their 40s and their identities are being protected.
In his defence, Dr Iscove said he was following Dr Edmund Bergler’s theories, a psychoanalyst from the 1950s who focused on homosexuality.
Dr Bergler theorised that homosexuality could be cured with the right treatments.
The panel’s report stated that he said his ‘patients only became responsive to his therapy when they were ready to fight it (i.e., the homosexuality).’
Iscove denies all the allegations and is appealing his decision.