Skip to comments.Psychiatrists diagnosing the President smacked down by the APA
Posted on 01/12/2018 7:19:57 PM PST by Kaslin
Not too long ago we talked about Ivy League psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee, who had briefed members of Congress (read: pretty much entirely Democrats) on President Trump’s mental health. Despite having never even met the President, say nothing of examined him, she apparently had quite a lot to say. Dr. Lee and her colleagues who jumped on the dogpile have been getting some significant pushback since then, with not only members of the press (a few of them, anyway) objecting, but drawing a formal rebuke from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) who called for an end to “armchair psychiatry.” (Legal Insurrection)
Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reiterates its continued and unwavering commitment to the ethical principle known as The Goldwater Rule. We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media. Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the 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. Doing otherwise undermines the credibility and integrity of the profession and the physician-patient relationship.
As Mike Lachance at Legal Insurrection pointed out yesterday, two Harvard shrinks pushed back on this criticism in the pages of Politico, strangely claiming that diagnosing the President’s mental health from the other side of a television screen wasn’t violating the Goldwater Rule at all. In their opinion, since they aren’t diagnosing Trump “in a specific way” in their various publications and comments, everything is fair game. Also, it’s “not only acceptable but vitally necessary to have a public conversation about the mental state of our nations leader.”
Sorry, Doc, but I don’t think that’s going to fly. Take, for example, the idea of me writing a post on our site saying, hey… did you hear what the President said last night? That guy is nuts. That’s commentary, which you can agree with or dispute as you wish. It’s not even particularly useful commentary since the closest I ever came to medical school was shortly after a motorcycle accident in the 80s. But when two Doctors of Psychiatry from Harvard say the same thing, it’s a diagnosis. You don’t need to tell us the specific name of the mental ailment you suspect is plaguing a public official. (I’d wager more than a few of us wouldn’t know what it meant without hitting up Google anyway.) It’s sufficient just to say that something isn’t right.
But, hey… don’t let us stop you. There’s finally all sorts of political and media figures paying attention to you. Enjoy your fifteen minutes while it lasts.
Every psychology and psychiatry student/resident should be required to learn how nations like the USSR used the mental health system to lock up political dissidents.
Either drum them out of the profession or share their lack of credibility!
This statement is nothing but gas.
Hahaha. These unethical, unprofessional , integrity-free losers need to stick their worthless opinions where the sun doesn’t shine. Fools.
The APA was more than a day late and more than a dollar short with their rebuke; allowing “Dr.” Bandy and her “diagnosis” to circulate in the media for the better part of a week.
These guys didn’t care about Obama floating around like he was maxed out on Xanax?
You are quite wrong.
The APA can't drum anybody out of anything.
The statement is highly significant, because it provides a basis (which has been lacking) for formal complaints to, and action by, three entities with the power to do exactly what you wish.
1) State of New York Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
2) American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
3) Office of the Dean, Yale University School of Medicine
All of these organizations can and do sanction unethical conduct, which is exactly what the APA accuses Dr. Lee of in their statement. Up until now, a complaint from a member of the public to these three organizations would probably be turned away because the complainant could not produce expert testimony from within the field of psychiatry that, according to their internal standards, a breach had occurred.
Now, they no longer have that out.
Big deal. Next piece of spaghetti will be thrown at the wall.
Apology? Only racists and homophobes apologize? If we were to apologize it would only prove DJT is a skunk. Are we sorry we broke the rules of our profession? The ends justify the means and the moves.
The dirty little secret that they are jealously guarding, is that psychiatry isn’t much more than a pseudo-science. The hard sciences and medical world know that to be true.
Schools aren’t even teaching about the gulags and Communist purges, much less the weaponization of psychiatry.
What makes you think they don’t know?
She looks like a KOOK,
Aren't most anti-Trumpers?
The enforcement is not in the APA, it is in the court system as Goldwater sued for Libel and won.
Goldwater v. Ginzburg
The court found that the evidence introduced at trial proved the defendants knew they were publishing defamatory statements and were motivated by actual malice when they published the statements.
The court found the defendants guilty of libel action based on the article Fact published. The plaintiff demanded $1,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages but Senator Goldwater was awarded $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.
The compensatory damages were against all defendants but the punitive damages were split between the defendants. Ginzburg and Boroson were liable for $25,000 of the $75,000 and Fact Magazine, Inc. was liable for $50,000. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed the award and the Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari (review).
“The APA can’t drum anybody out of anything.”
Except out of the APA... They are a voluntary membership professional organization.
However, their ethics guidelines are promulgated as “Standards of Practice” which are then used in the court system when the person is sued.
That’s why the standards were developed. To protect psychiatrists from getting sued for making statements as they did against Goldwater.
The Connecticut Board of Medical Licensing where she also had her license to prescribe medications.
It appears as though she was practicing medicine without a license in CT.
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