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Psychiatry Group: Members May Comment on Trump's Mental Health

Image: Psychiatry Group: Members May Comment on Trump's Mental Health
President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Rex Features)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 04:45 PM

A top psychiatry organization has informed members they can publicly comment on the mental health of politicians, including President Donald Trump.

The American Psychoanalytic Association's executive committee sent an email to its 3,500 members informing them of the decision. Although there had been no rule against it, members felt there was an unspoken rule similar to the American Psychiatric Association's "Goldwater rule."

Named for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, the rule prevents psychiatrists from offering their professional opinion on a public figure without both their consent and a standard examination.

"We don't want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly." Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, psychiatrist and past president of the psychoanalytic association, told STAT.

She said the responsibility is even greater today than in the past, "since Trump's behavior is so different from anything we've seen before" in a president.

Gourguechon added the committee sent the email out of the "belief in the value of psychoanalytic knowledge in explaining human behavior."

Dr. Leonard Glass, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, told STAT "In the case of Donald Trump, there is an extraordinary abundance of speech and behavior on which one could form a judgment."

He added, "It’s not definitive, it's an informed hypothesis, and one we should be able to offer rather than the stunning silence demanded by the Goldwater rule."

Glass resigned from the American Psychiatric Association last week, in protest of the rule that had been officially adopted in 1973.

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A top psychiatry organization has informed members they can publicly comment on the mental health of politicians, including President Donald Trump.
psychiatry, mental, health, Goldwater Rule
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2017-45-25
Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 04:45 PM
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