A gay man who was given electric shock treatments on the NHS in the 1970s has spoken to BBC Radio 5.

In the 1970s the National Health Service (NHS) offered a ‘cure’ to homosexuality in the guise of ‘Electric Shock Avoidance Therapy’.

‘John’ from Birmingham talks openly to Victoria Derbyshire about the ‘false hope’ the treatment gave him. The 69-year-old said the treatment had made him feel that he was, ‘going to pass from this life without ever having a full relationship with a human being.’


Homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, 1981 in Scotland and 1982 in Northern Ireland.

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In 1973 homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in the UK.

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