Update from Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
“The panel at Yale School of Medicine abided by ‘the Goldwater rule.’ Eminent psychiatrists were invited to speak about whether there are other ethical rules that override it, as in ordinary practice. The organizer, Dr. Bandy Lee, agrees with the Goldwater rule, although she is troubled by its recent expansion (as of March 16, 2017) and the silencing of debate. She hopes that the public and politicians will understand that mental health issues are not to be used as a weapon. Psychologist Dr. John Gartner was invited as an activist but was not on the actual panel. The organizer emphasizes that the event was independent and did not represent the views of Yale University or Yale School of Medicine.”
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“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognize dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”
Those words came from the mouth of James Gilligan, psychiatrist and professor at New York University. The man he is speaking of is the president of the United States.
Gilligan’s comments were one of many from a group of psychiatrists who gathered at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday. The message presented was that Donald Trump is mentally unfit to be in the White House.
Dr. John Gartner, practicing psychiatrist and founding member of Duty to Warn, a group of several dozen mental health professionals who feel it’s their obligation to inform the public about the president’s mental state, says the warning signs have been there from the beginning.
“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking, and he proved that to the country the first day he was president,” Dr. Gartner said.
Earlier in the year, claiming Trump is “psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President,” Dr. Gartner started a petition calling for Trump to be removed from office. So far, that petition has received nearly 47,000 signatures.
Dr. Bandy Lee, who chaired the conference and is an assistant clinical professor in Yale’s department of psychology, thinks Trump’s mental state is an issue people are beginning to become concerned about:
“As some prominent psychiatrists have noted, [Trump’s mental health] is the elephant in the room. I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now.”