May 22, 2022

Drawing a line for a psychiatrist’s extracurricular interests

How can you tell if a psychiatrist is crazy?

What’s the ethical response to allegations that a psychiatrist is crazy? How do you define “crazy”? How do you know that his reality is wrong?

This is the conundrum that the Medical Council of Australia faced in dealing with the case of Dr Russell Everard McGregor, a psychiatrist in the Sydney beach suburb of Dee Why.

Dr McGregor posted alt-right conspiracy theories he claimed were the directives of US President Donald Trump to the official website of his practice. He claimed that Trump had taped evidence of a global Satanist paedophile network, that 9/11 was faked, and that the ABC, Australia’s government broadcast network, was part of an international deep state network covering up the crimes of the elite.

He has been deregistered.

Dr McGregor’s Twitter feed says “It is up to all of us world wide to take down the Deep State. We must fight against the corruption, murder, child trafficking networks, organ harvesting, pedophilia and Satanic Politican’s/MSM/Banks/Elites.”

He has responded that “As I extensively wrote to the Medical Council, their actions are akin to Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. The Political abuse of Psychiatry is an historical fact and now it has occurred in Australia.”

The New South Wales civil and administrative tribunal (NCAT) granted the deregistration this week after another psychiatrist testified that Dr McGregor was paranoid. “These are extraordinary beliefs for a consultant psychiatrist to publicly associate himself with, particularly on a website associated with his clinical practice,” he told the tribunal.

“His perception is not the reality,” NCAT said. “His clients, some of whom may be prone to paranoid thoughts or beliefs, are likely to read the blog and be influenced by his bizarre and overvalued ideas.”

Dr McGregor tweeted that “Calling a Doctor an ‘extremist’ for their political views and then enacting Medical Deregistration purely for those views is abhorrent.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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