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It’s Unethical to Analyze President Trump’s Mental Health, Psychiatrists Warn

By Charles Omedo , Feb 20, 2017 03:50 AM EST
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Maria Oquendo, the president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has warned psychiatrists to desist from issuing opinions on President Trump's mental health since this contradicts their code of ethics. She said it is unethical and irresponsible for any psychiatrists to carry on with the president this way. But several psychiatrists are sworn never to remain silent in the face of the president's unusual policies and mannerisms.

The Goldwater rule and how it affects professional psychiatrists

The Goldwater Rule came into effect after the then presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, was speculated as suffering from mental incapacity in 1964. Goldwater later sued and won in the law courts with heavy damages imposed on the defendants. The APA in later years decided the adopt the Goldwater rule by which all practicing psychiatrists in the United States must abide by as a code of ethic.

According to the rule, no psychiatrist is allowed to make public comments about the mental health of any public figure who has not been personally examined by the commenter. And where a psychiatrist has personally diagnosed and treated a public figure, express permission must be obtained before any public comments could be made about his mental health. Any professional psychiatrist that runs afoul of this rule is adjudged as violating his professional code of ethics, the Independent wrote.

Is Donald trump suffering from narcissistic personality disorder?

About 35 psychiatrists signed a letter that suggested that President Trump is afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), with over 20,000 people calling for the president's impeachment on Change.org, Salon wrote. The activists say President Trump's ideology betrays his failing mental health and endangers American democracy and unity. "We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism," they insist.

However, a number of high-profile psychiatrists have denied the possibility of President Trump suffering from mental disorders. A former dean of Harvard Medical School, Jeffrey Flier, tweeted that "Narcissistic personality disorder. Trump doesn't just have it, he defines it." And Dr. Allen Frances, a reputable psychiatrist noted that President Trump is only unpleasant but not mentally ill in any way definable. Now Ms. Oquendo calls all the diagnostic charades on Mr. President to stop immediately or a erring psychiatrist may have to defend himself to the APA.

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