May 19, 2024

Psychiatry becomes political weapon in US

Congressional Democrats have approached outspoken Yale University psychiatrist Dr Bandy Lee about forming an expert panel to offer advice on President Donald Trump’s mental health.

Dr. Lee – who told the media earlier this year that psychiatrists have “an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues” – says she has talked with several members of congress or their staff about convening psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to review the president’s health.

Lee told a STAT reporter that she would meet Democratic representatives in September to discuss the proposal. Democratic senators have already tabled a bill in Congress that invokes the 25th Amendment and seeks to establish “a commission on presidential capacity”.

In October Lee will release a book entitled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump that summarises the views of 27 psychiatrists on Trump’s worrisome psychological state.

Recently BioEdge reported on an influential psychiatric association’s decision to abandon the decades old Goldwater Rule – a professional maxim that psychiatrists should refrain from offering their expert opinion on public figures whom they have never seen as patients.