Psychiatrists Debate Trump's Mental Health


A lobbyist group comprised of mental health professionals under the collective name "Duty to Warn" has called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office due to the "dangerous mental illness" they allege he has.

But the group, which held a conference at Yale University April 20, has drawn criticism from psychiatric professionals about its approach, the CT Post reported.

The initiative was set up by John Gartner, a former part-time assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

"We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness," Gartner said, according to Yahoo News.

A petition set up by the group, entitled "Mental health professionals declare Trump is mentally ill and must be removed," has secured 41,000 signatures so far.

"We, the undersigned psychiatric professionals (please state your degree), believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump has a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States," the petition reads.

Duty to Warn has been lobbying legislators in Congress to take up the issue, but Gartner said they have found little interest thus far.

Other psychiatric professionals have taken issue with Duty to Warn, arguing their effort to diagnose Trump violates the Goldwater Rule. This rule states that psychiatrists "should not give professional opinions about the mental state of individuals that they have not personally and thoroughly evaluated," according to the American Psychiatric Association.

But Gartner disagrees.

"For one thing, research shows that the psychiatric interview is the least statistical reliable way to make a diagnosis," he said.

He suggested that Trump could have anti-social personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. According to Gartner, Trump is the type of person who would "routinely violate the rights of others, lie and have no remorse."

The group alleges there have been several examples of Trump's mental health problems, including his suggestion that the crowds at his inauguration were the largest in history and his accusation that the administration of former President Barack Obama wiretapped his campaign.

The April 20 conference was organized by Dr. Bandy Lee, an assistant professor in Yale's department of psychiatry.

"As some prominent psychiatrists have noted, [Trump's mental health] is the elephant in the room," Lee told the Post. "I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now."

Republicans have criticized the group.

"I think this is absolutely ridiculous," J.R. Romano, chairman of the Republicans in Connecticut, told the Post. "If something like this had gone on surrounding Barack Obama's administration, it would have been shouted down as racist."

Sources: Yahoo News, CT Post / Photo credit: Benjamin Applebaum/Wikimedia Commons

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