April 20, 2024

Psychiatrists versus Trump

President Donald Trump was elected because he promised to break moulds and drain swamps. “And now for something completely different” was basically the platform on which he campaigned. And something completely different is what Americans got.

Now is this difference due to mental illness or to a combination of personality and cunning political strategy? Yale University psychiatrist Dr Bandy Lee believes that it is the former. Trump is both bad and mad. In fact, not only Trump. In an interview with Salon, she said that the Administration and the Republican Party have lost touch with reality.

Is it a good idea for a psychiatrist to politicise her profession? The American Psychiatric Association asks its members to abide by the “Goldwater Rule” which forbids them from making public comment on the health of public figures whom they have not examined. It’s a good rule and Dr Lee is breaking it by publishing a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump in October.

It’s a good rule because it protects the profession. Although half of Americans probably think Trump is mad without the benefit of Dr Lee’s input, the other half, including some psychiatrists, doesn’t. Inevitably many voters will think that Dr Lee is just a shill for the Democrats and that psychiatrists’ opinions can be bought.

What do you think? 

Michael Cook
Is he just bad, or is he mad, and who gets to decide?
donald trump
goldwater rule