‘Gay cure’ doc hailed by Iris Robinson faces disciplinary charges at hearing
Published 05/04/2013 | 00:00
A psychiatrist who hit the headlines when Iris Robinson claimed he could cure homosexuality is accused of trying to take financial advantage of a patient.
Dr Paul Miller, a former adviser to Mrs Robinson, will face a number of charges at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) fitness to practise hearing at the beginning of next week.
According to the charges he will face:
• It is alleged that between 2004 and 2010, Dr Miller had improper financial dealings with a patient, in that, he took, or attempted to take, financial advantage of the patient on a number of occasions.
• It is further alleged that on a number of occasions Dr Miller failed to maintain professional boundaries with the patient.
• In addition, it is alleged that on a number of occasions he provided sub-standard care to the patient.
Dr Miller is currently allowed to practise but a number of conditions have been imposed on his licence, according to the General Medical Council (GMC).
Among these, the psychiatrist must notify the GMC of any post he accepts and his day-to-day work must be supervised.
He also has to inform employers that he has conditions on his licence and request permission from the GMC before he takes any medical post.
A journalist who went undercover and received his therapy complained to the GMC about the treatment provided by Dr Miller — who registered as a psychiatrist in March 2003.
London-based journalist Patrick Strudwick is gay and wanted to investigate exactly what the conversion therapy involved.
He posed as a patient and had two sessions of therapy via a webcam from London to Dr Miller in Belfast.
“It was very disturbing because I was acutely aware during the sessions of the effect this would be having on a vulnerable young person had I been genuinely seeking treatment,” he said afterwards.
Dr Miller, who studied medicine at Queen’s University in Belfast and graduated in 1994, worked for Mrs Robinson when she was chair of the health committee at Stormont.
A row erupted when Mrs Robinson appeared on Radio Ulster in 2008 and made claims about work done by Dr Miller.
She said: “I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in.
“I'm happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around and become heterosexuals.
“They are married and are having families. It does work.”
She added: “My Christian beliefs teach me that you love the sinner but hate the sin. But homosexuality is something that is an abomination.”
The MPTS fitness to practise hearing, which will decide on Dr Miller’s future, is scheduled to last until next month.
The Belfast Telegraph attempted to contact Dr Miller but could not locate him.
Journalist blew whistle on ‘therapy’
By Lisa Smyth
The journalist who referred Dr Paul Miller to the General Medical Council has spoken at length about the counselling that led him to make his complaint.
In an article on May 2011, the London-based journalist made a series of allegations about a number of treatment sessions he had with Dr Miller.
Patrick Strudwick said Dr Miller told him he had “resolved” his own conflicted sexuality and is now married with children. The article continued: “Miller told me that homosexuality “represents a pathology”.
“He added: ‘The men you were having sex with or falling in love with are just as wounded as you.’
“He concluded that because my father is a physicist, and I was always more creative, that prevented a ‘gender-affirming process’ which in turn led to my sexualising men.”
Mr Strudwick said Dr Miller advised him to complete a number of tasks, including having massages with male masseurs, in a bid to affirm his heterosexuality.
The sessions with Dr Miller were part of a wider investigation undertaken by the journalist who was examining a controversial treatment known as conversion therapy.