Psychiatrists challenge Goldwater rule

Increasing Number of Psychiatrists challenge the “Goldwater Rule”

 

INCREASING NUMBER OF PSYCHIATRISTS CHALLENGE THE “GOLDWATER RULE”

❝ Do psychiatrists who question the mental state of President Donald Trump have a professional or personal obligation to speak out if they fear his words and actions endanger the nation?

That question prompted a packed and sometimes heated panel discussion…during the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association here. The answer for many, including some prominent members of the profession, was a resounding “yes.”

❝ But a 1973 APA policy known as the Goldwater Rule tells them they can’t — not without conducting an examination of the man and receiving proper authorization or consent — lest they be found guilty of unethical behavior, face professional rebuke, and ultimately, get themselves kicked out of the association…

❝ But many in the room disagreed. Some called the Goldwater Rule nothing more than a “gag” rule, a violation of their right to free speech, especially during these particularly tempestuous first months of the administration. They want the APA to eliminate the rule, or seriously modify it, because they need to be “liberated” to speak out about the clear signs and symptoms they’re trained to recognize, and which they believe suggest the president could lead the nation into an unnecessary war.

Regardless of personal convictions – mine certainly are strong and open – the article is a good read. An historic examination of a topic critical to medical disciplines and public freedoms.