Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) The Ministry of Health and Welfare plans to ban conversion therapy, which attempts to change a homosexual person's sexual orientation to heterosexual, and the regulation will be promulgated as soon as March.
On Dec. 30, the ministry published a draft regulation that listed conversion therapy as a prohibited treatment and would punish any physician who used the therapy to treat a patient.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to offer their opinions of the draft regulation for 60 days, after which the ministry will issue a regulation based on the draft.
According to the Physicians Act, doctors who engage in prohibited treatments are subject to fines of between NT$100,000 (US$3,095) to NT$500,000 and may be suspended for one month to one year.
"Sexual orientation is not an illness," said Shih Chung-liang (石崇良), head of the ministry's department of medical affairs, in explaining the rationale behind the proposal.
The draft regulation was suggested in June 2016 by Taichung City's Gender Equality Committee, which said some medical professionals practiced conversion therapy and hurt the physical and psychological health of some of their patients.
It suggested at the time that the ministry list it as a prohibited treatment.
(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Kuo Chung-han)