Tags: Trump Administration | trump | mental | questions | unfair | unseemly | smerconish

Smerconish: Trump Mental Questions 'Unfair, Unseemly'

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By    |   Tuesday, 09 Jan 2018 10:50 AM

The armchair diagnoses of President Donald Trump's mental stability spurred by the release of a new book is both "unfair and unseemly," Michael Smerconish wrote in a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It's one thing to criticize Trump's behavior, fair game, but it's quite another to try to connect that behavior to a psychiatric flaw, writes Smerconish, who issues a reminder about the 40-year-old "Goldwater Rule."

That rule, in part, resulting from the aftermath of a magazine's 1964 survey of mental health professionals' faraway opinions about Barry Goldwater:

"It is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement," Smerconish cites.

"Today some psychiatrists say this clause is a gag rule," Smerconish writes for the Inquirer. "They claim that they have seen enough of Trump from his public utterances and tweets to decide the state of his health. But such diagnosis is inexact and subjective.

"Abandoning the Goldwater rule would set a dangerous precedent that would allow professionals and lay people to judge others to be mentally ill," Smerconish writes. "With this sort of analysis, why stop with elected officials? Why not speculate about policemen? Or journalists? Or a high school principal? In fact, why not open the floodgates about psychiatrists?

"If we as a society wish to impose a standard that any person seeking a particular office must first be evaluated by professionals to be physically and mentally competent, fine, let’s do that. But to arbitrarily impose a post hoc analysis after voters have seen such a person run a campaign is not right," Smerconish writes.

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The armchair diagnoses of President Donald Trump's mental stability spurred by the release of a new book is both "unfair and unseemly," Michael Smerconish wrote in a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
trump, mental, questions, unfair, unseemly, smerconish
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2018-50-09
Tuesday, 09 Jan 2018 10:50 AM
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