SoCal Doctor Diagnoses Man as ’Chronically Gay’
A Southern California doctor diagnosed an openly gay man with "homosexual behavior" during his last checkup, saying the patient should be treated for his "chronic illness," NBC Los Angeles reports.
Matthew Moore, 45, said his new doctor suggested he undergo a complete physical, which found that he has a B-12 deficiency, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When he returned to the Manhattan Beach office to discuss his results, however, the nurse gave Moore the results of his physical, where the doctor listed "Homosexual behavior (302.0)," according to records NBC Los Angeles obtained. "Homosexual behavior" was also listed as a chronic condition on his patient plan.
"When I look up code 302.0 and it’s sexual deviancy or mental illness, and that code has been removed or suggested heavily not to be used since 1973," Moore told the news station. "My jaw was on the floor. At first, I kind of laughed, I thought, ’Here’s another way that gay people are lessened and made to feel less-than,’ and then as I thought about it and as I dealt with it, it angered me."
After discussing the matter with his attorney and friends, Moore returned to the doctor’s office and let her explain her findings. She defended her diagnosis, however, and Moore said he was "dumbfounded."
When he asked the doctor how he could treat homosexuality, she said that it "is still up to debate" and that being gay is "still being thought of as a disease," Moore said.
"Government tells us, oftentimes, that we’re not equal," Moore said. "Many churches tell us that we’re sinners, and now here’s a medical professional telling us that we are sick. And it’s gotta stop."
After hearing the doctor’s response, Moore wrote a letter to the Torrance Memorial Physician Network, asking for his $30 copay back. He received an apology letter and his $30.
"We fully appreciate your frustration and anger related to your experience and are committed to ensuring that such events are not repeated," Heidi Assigal, senior director of Torrance Health Association, Inc., wrote in the letter. "We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality."
Moore said he is not offended that his sexual orientation was listed on his medical chart, but is against it being listed under "chronic conditions." He also told NBC Los Angeles that he is not planning to sue the doctor but wanted to get his story in the media.
"If I was a 14-year-old in a small town in Indiana, where I’m from, and I had a doctor tell me or my parents that I was sick because they thought I was gay, it would’ve been very damaging," Moore told the news station.