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The Goldwater Rule and diagnosing Trump

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The debate on the "Goldwater Rule" resurfaced last week at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting: In the age of Trump, should psychiatrists be allowed to give their professional diagnosis of a public figure?

Background

The Goldwater Rule is an ethics guideline for members of the APA.

  • It was established in 1964 after Fact magazine published a survey from thousands of psychiatrists saying Barry Goldwater was psychologically unfit to be president — Goldwater later sued the magazine.
  • APA members are banned from giving professional opinions to the public about a public figure without consent and a direct examination.