American Psychiatric Association warns against ‘diagnosing’ Trump
American Psychiatric Association has warned leftist psychiatrists to stop "diagnosing" President Trump without a medical examination, as it represents a total violation of medical ethics.
Published: January 15, 2018, 8:59 am
Claims have surfaced in mainstream news that the billionaire businessman-turned-president is mentally ill, and thus unfit for office.
“The issue of whether Donald Trump is mentally ill has been much debated since the beginning of his campaign,” says Bandy Lee, one of the contributing psychiatrists of a report titled: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.
“Regarding dangerousness, psychiatrists are not only permitted but legally obligated to warn potential victims when they have reason to conclude that someone represents a significant risk of harm to them,” Lee, employed by Yale, argues.
Lee and Harvard Medical School associate professor of psychiatry Leonard L. Glass penned an article for Politico Magazine too arguing it is their “duty” to question Trump’s mental fitness as psychiatrists.
Yale has meanwhile has issued a statement that critical of Lee. The school stressed that doctors should conduct an examination and obtain proper authorization before publicly stating a professional opinion about a patient.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has now issued a formal notice warning that psychiatrists who comment publicly about the president’s cognitive status without having conducted an official medical examination, and noting that they are in blatant violation of medical ethics provisions.
The psychiatrists have issued fake diagnoses about the president’s mental health on cable news appearances, in books, and on social media. The APA says that using psychiatry as a “political tool”, represents a gross “misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical”.
“The ethical principle, in place since 1973, guides physician members of the APA to refrain from publicly issuing professional medical opinions about individuals that they have not personally evaluated in a professional setting or context,” the announcement explains.
“Doing otherwise undermines the credibility and integrity of the profession and the physician-patient relationship. Although APA’s ethical guidelines can only be enforced against APA members, we urge all psychiatrists, regardless of membership, to abide by this guidance in respect of our patients and our profession.”
Bandy Lee, an Ivy League psychiatrist from the Yale School of Medicine, met with various anti-Trump members of Congress before issuing her pronouncements on Trump. She has never met Trump, however, but since at December, Lee has been making her opinions on the president’s mental status public.
“A proper psychiatric evaluation requires more than a review of television appearances, tweets, and public comments,” the APA pointed out.
“Psychiatrists are medical doctors; evaluating mental illness is no less thorough than diagnosing diabetes or heart disease. The standards in our profession require review of medical and psychiatric history and records and a complete examination of mental status. Often collateral information from family members or individuals who know the person well is included, with permission from the patient.”
Having a mental health disability does not mean people are “bad”, “dangerous” or “unhinged”, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law said this weekend.
“Calling the president ‘mentally ill’ in order to insult or undermine him causes actual harm to people with mental health disabilities,” the group said in a statement.
Trump has had an annual physical examination in which the required standards were followed in accurately assessing his physical and mental state.
Trump’s White House physician declared him in “excellent health” after his first medical checkup at Walter Reed military hospital.in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Ronny Jackson also provided care for President Obama and became a White House physician in 2006.
Trump himself has pushed back against suggestions that he’s mentally unfit, declaring himself “a very stable genius”.
The APA issued a ruling known as the “Goldwater rule” prohibiting mental-health professionals from commenting on the well-being of a public figure who they have not personally examined in 1964.
At the time a petition was signed by over a thousand psychiatrists and published in Fact magazine claiming then-GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater was “psychologically unfit to be President”. Goldwater, who lost the election, later won a libel suit against Fact.
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