There’s An Actual Rule Against Doctors Saying Trump Has A Mental Illness

With candidates like Donald Trump in the running, this particularpresidential election has been anything but ordinary.

Throughout the race, lots of people have been giving their expert opinions on what might be goingbeneath Donald’s signature ‘do.However, it turns out thatdoctors who dubTrump as “crazy” could actually getthemselves in someserious trouble.

Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, president of the American Psychiatric Association, just issued a statement on APA‘s website asking her fellow psychiatrists to stop psychoanalyzing Donald Trump from a distance because it isirresponsible, potentially stigmatizing and definitelyunethical.

So, what’s the big deal with analyzing Trump’s behaviors from afar?

It’s the potential of a big fat lawsuit, that’s what.

Back in1964, Factmagazinepublisheda survey that revealed 1,189 of the2,417 psychiatrist participants agreed thatBarry Goldwater,the Republican presidential nominee at the time, did not seem psychologicallyfit to be the nation’s next president. As a result, Goldwater sued the company forlibel.

After a lengthy court case, the Goldwater Rulewas added to the ethics handbook used by the American Psychiatric Association.

The rule states,

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, 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 astatement.

The Goldwater Rule has been in effect since 1973. However, this hasn’t stoppedpsychiatrists from diagnosing Trump with a variety of mental heath disorders since he announced his decision to run for president.

It’s important to note that Oquendo’s plea to leave Trumpalone has nothing to do with her political views; it simply has to do with her concern regarding the ethical treatment of patients.

In the statement,Oquendo writes,

I can understand the desire to get inside the mind of a presidential candidate.I can also understand how a patient might feel if they saw their doctor offering an uninformed medical opinion on someone they have never examined.

A patient who sees that might lose confidence in their doctor, and would likely feel stigmatized by language painting a candidate with a mental disorder (real or perceived) as ‘unfit’ or ‘unworthy’ to assume thePresidency.

IfOquendo’s statement doesn’t seem to do the trick, I guess she could always ask thatmelodramaticYouTube dudeto make a special Donald edition of his “Leave Britney Alone” video.

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