Physician Assistants group decides policy on reparative therapy

Today in Philadelphia, the American Academy of Physician Assistants debated and then decided a policy on reparative therapy. The AAPA’s Committee on Diversity originally proposed the following concise but inclusive statement:

The American Academy of Physician Assistants opposes the practice of treatments intended to alter sexual orientation.

This statement was an aspect of a resolution that I reported on over a month ago. The statement was so inclusive that it could have included even those who seek therapy to pursue behavioral change. A substitute resolution was offered that opposed coercive treatments but affirmed religious diversity.

After debate, the AAPA delegates voted 110 to 107 not to refer the matter to a study committee but instead affirmed the following policy:

The AAPA opposes, the use of “reparative” or “conversion” therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.

Those in the know will recognize this language as being the same as the American Medical Association’s policy. The Committee on Diversity was handed a setback in the sense that all treatments were not opposed but rather those which are coercive and/or based on homosexuality being a mental disorder.

I hope to have more on this tomorrow.