Shortly after the election last year, three professors of psychiatry — one from Harvard, two from the University of California, San Francisco — sent a letter to then-President Barack Obama questioning Donald Trump’s fitness to serve. In the letter, the experts correctly noted that “professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally.” Then they turned around and offered up this analysis:
[Trump’s] widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office.
In April, several other psychiatry professors banded together to create a group called “Duty to Warn.” The group held a conference at Yale at which they doubled down on the liberal claim that Trump’s “dangerous mental illness” is a threat to America.
Now Bandy Lee, a member of that group, has joined with the original three and with Robert Jay Lifton of Columbia to draft a new open letter calling upon Congress to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment, Section 4. Nicknamed the “crazy man clause,” the section outlines procedures for the removal of a president judged to be “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Here’s the text of the letter via the Huffington Post, which has been salivating for months over what its editors surely see as an answer to their nightly prayers since last Nov. 8.
Since the election of 2016, each of us has warned against President Trump’s alarming psychological instability, which has been apparent in his repeated failures to distinguish between reality and fantasy and his erratic responses to stress and crisis. We were also concerned about his tendency to become enraged at the slightest criticism.
The signs of the president’s unraveling are stark, and they are contributing to his inability to govern: his failure to guard against hacking of our elections and related threats to national security, his decimation of the State Department and other vital government agencies, his irrational, unilateral withdrawal from the world’s commitment to prevent catastrophic climate change, his intemperate exploitation of the presidency to enrich himself and his family, his unremitting threats against a free press, his vitriolic verbal assaults against anyone (especially any woman) who questions his actions or state of mind, and his imposition of false narratives whenever the truth casts him in a bad light.
The power of the presidency has accentuated Mr. Trump’s failings with devastating effects. His psychological isolation – including his tenuous relationship to reality – has led to the dangerous isolation of the United States from the rest of the world.
Our Constitution has provisions for removing any president who is unable to discharge the duties of office. For the sake of our country and the world, we urge our elected representatives to summon their courage so that lawful steps can be taken to end the Trump presidency.
Much of their argument has less to do with Trump’s mental condition than it does his decision not to govern as a liberal (think climate alarmism), while elsewhere the writers engage in hyperbole (“dangerous isolation of the United States from the rest of the world”).
All five signatories should be ashamed. They should also be reprimanded by the universities where they teach for breach of ethics, and, if a review board finds sufficient grounds for terminating them, they should be dismissed.
That’s according to Section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Principles of Medical Ethics,” which admonishes:
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 a statement. [Emphasis added]
It would appear to the casual observer that neither of those conditions has been met.
But in the event they are fired, don’t feel too bad for any of these experts. They have already announced that they’ve gotten a book deal out of their foolish attacks on the president.
(h/t Campus Reform)