A leading American psychiatric organisation has formally abandoned so-called "Goldwater Rule", telling its members that they are free to comment on the mental health of public figures — including the president.
The American Psychoanalytic Association, which has 3500 members, told followers in an email this week that the responsible use of professional expertise in public affairs is permissible.
The impetus for the email was “belief in the value of psychoanalytic knowledge in explaining human behavior,” said psychoanalytic association past president Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago. “We don’t want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly.”
The move represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump’s mental health.
"The Goldwater Rule" — which has been formally endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association for decades — states that psychiatrists and psychologists should refrain from commenting on the mental health of high-profile individuals who they have not examined in person and who have not given consent to having their mental health discussed in public. The rule takes its origin from the controversial psychiatric commentary that was aired about former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election.
In October, a book titled “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President” will be published.
| Saturday, July 29, 2017 | BioEdge
We're back! And although the northern hemisphere summer is normally a slow-news season, bioethics has been on the front page of world newspapers.
The drama of the dying British baby Charlie Gard, his loving parents, the doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital in central London, and the English law has captured the imagination of people everywhere.
To be honest, I am not sure whose "side" I should be on. Parents should normally make healthcare decisions for their children.
But there are cases in which their choices are plainly wrong -- as a Swedish doctor suggests below in his version of the mysterious resdignation syndrome among refugee children -- and the advice of doctors should be heeded.
Which was the case here? We'd love to hear from you.
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgInfluential psychiatric group abandons Goldwater Rule