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Generally, experts are advised against speculating about a non-patient’s mental health [Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images].

The call for an examination of Donald Trump’s mental health raises interesting questions, some of which are discussed in the Independent article quoted below.

But let’s just stop and think about this for a moment. We’re discussing the mental health of arguably the most powerful man in the world. Shouldn’t he have been examined before he took the oath of office?

Mr Trump certainly displays traits that suggest questionable mental health. Going back to his swearing-in ceremony, his insistence that more people attended than forerunner Barack Obama’s swearing-in – despite the photographic evidence to the contrary – suggests an unsound mind.

So we should welcome the news that Congress is considering – urgently – what it can do to ensure the President is in good mental health – and what is to be done if we find that he is not.

Democratic members of Congress are planning something unusual for politicians in the United States: Meeting with a psychiatrist to talk about forming an expert panel to consider the mental health of the President.

Since his unexpected rise to being arguably the most powerful man in the world, Donald Trump’s unusual style has raised eyebrows from concerned citizens who wonder if he may be exhibiting symptoms of dangerous mental illness. So, the politicians are bringing in a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine to help get to the bottom of things.

But, forming opinions on someone a psychiatrist has never met may pose ethical problems.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater Rule prohibits members from publicly diagnosing someone if they haven’t personally examined them. That rule was named after an incident in 1964 when then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was the target of an article in which several psychiatrists were polled on whether he was fit to serve as president.

Even so, the subject of Mr Trump’s cognitive ability has been a point of contention in American discourse recently. Several psychiatrists have weighed in on the issue in 2016 and 2017, and have faced criticism for doing so. There has been so much speculation, in fact, that there are more words devoted to Donald Trump on the Wikipedia page for the Goldwater rule then there are devoted to the history and justification for the rule.

Read more: Democrats looking to set up expert panel on Donald Trump’s mental health


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