Despite being a cardiothorasic surgeon, Doctor Mehmet Cengiz Oz has found himself often making rather bad decisions outside his field. Recently, Oz did a program on his “Dr. Oz Show” that earned the anger and ire of the LGBT Community. Dr. Oz aired an episode on 28 November in which he promoted a discussion of reparative therapy. One of his guests was Julie Hamilton, a representative from the anti-gay group National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or NARTH.
NARTH is at odds with every professional group out there given that there exists no credible study showing that ex-gay therapy is effective. Wayne Bessen of Truth Wins Out, in a Huffington Post op-ed about ex-gay therapy, also pointed out that “The already shredded credibility of such groups markedly deteriorated this year after Exodus International’s leader, Alan Chambers, said that his “ex-gay” ministry did not work for 99.9 percent of clients.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Herndon Graddic was angry over the inclusion of NARTH and stated that “The idea of therapists attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation has been proven ineffective and dangerous, and has been soundly and conclusively rejected by the entire medical establishment. This line of thinking is outdated, ultimately harmful, and in modern media, should be treated like lobotomies or medical mercury.”
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) was also not happy about NARTH’s inclusion in the show, and their executive director Dr. Eliza Byard stated that “The Dr. Oz Show provided a platform to a fringe organization promoting dangerous and harmful practices that every major health, mental health and education organization has consistently repudiated as harmful to youth.”
PFLAG’s statement was “Although the show also featured guests who condemned the idea and practice of ‘reparative therapy,’ Dr. Oz himself never weighed in, and the audience was misled to believe that there are actual experts on both sides of this issue.”
Oz apparently did not care, and he “felt that we needed to include all parties who have considered reparative therapy to hear the stories of people who have tried these treatments. Although some viewers may disagree with this tactic, if we want to reach everyone who might benefit from understanding the risks of this therapy, you have to present multiple perspectives.”
“After listening to both sides of the issue and after reviewing the available medical data, I agree with the established medical consensus. I have not found enough published data supporting positive results with gay reparative therapy and I have concerns about the potentially dangerous effects when the therapy fails, especially when minors are forced into treatments.”
Unfortunately, Oz never mentioned any of this on the air.