Vol VIII, Issue 4
Date of Publication: October 09, 2023
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Evolving jurisprudence on conversion therapy: Reconsidering ethics in mental health systems
Since the Delhi High Court judgement (2009), reading down IPC 377 that criminalised homosexuality, the Indian judiciary has been at the forefront of invoking constitutional morality to uphold LGBTQIA+ rights. In contrast, the mainstream mental health systems have failed to uphold human rights and protect LGBTQIA+ people ethically, except for a few position statements. Though the Supreme Court directed the mental health fraternity to exercise utmost sensitivity to LGBTQIA+ issues, they have not risen to the occasion. The absence of gender affirmative guidelines and failure to put in place punitive action against those practising conversion therapies set apart Indian mental health systems, in stark contrast to international mental health associations. Here, we review landmark judgments and the actions of professional mental health bodies regarding LGBTQIA+ rights in India, from 2009 to 2022 — especially those regarding conversion therapies and the discriminatory medical curriculum — to examine the deepening crisis of public health ethics.
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©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2023: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.