Democrats looking to set up expert panel on Donald Trump's mental health

The Democrats are remaining anonymous for now

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 16 August 2017 22:15
Comments
Generally, experts are advised against speculating about a non-patient's mental health
Generally, experts are advised against speculating about a non-patient's mental health

Democratic members of Congress are planning something unusual for politicians in the United States: Meeting with a psychiatrist to talk about forming an expert panel to consider the mental health of the President.

Since his unexpected rise to being arguably the most powerful man in the world, Donald Trump’s unusual style has raised eyebrows from concerned citizens who wonder if he may be exhibiting symptoms of dangerous mental illness. So, the politicians are bringing in a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine to help get to the bottom of things.

Yale’s Bandy Lee will meet with three legislators and heir staff, and a former member of Congress, to discuss how the congressmen might assemble mental health professionals “to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis,” according to STAT News. The three legislators have decided to remain anonymous for now, but expect to have a meeting with Ms Lee in a closed meeting in September.

Discussing the mental health of the President may prove difficult for most psychologists and mental health experts, however.That’s because any psychologist is likely to have very limited access to important details.

Mr Trump has released no personal medical records, aside from a one-page letter from his family doctor. That letter, released before the election, claimed Mr Trump would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

But, forming opinions on someone a psychiatrist has never met may pose ethical problems as well.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater Rule prohibits members from publicly diagnosing someone if they haven’t personally examined them. That rule was named after an incident in 1964 when then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was the target of an article in which several psychiatrists were polled on whether he was fit to serve as president.

Even so, the subject of Mr Trump’s cognitive ability has been a point of contention in American discourse recently. Several psychiatrists have weighed in on the issue in 2016 and 2017, and have faced criticism for doing so. There has been so much speculation, in fact, that there are more words devoted to Donald Trump on the Wikipedia page for the Goldwater rule then there are devoted to the history and justification for the rule.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in