Should Yale have fired Dr. Bandy Lee, the psychiatrist who diagnosed someone she had never even seen -- actually me -- as suffering from "psychosis" because of my views on the constitutional rights of President Donald Trump? She claims I caught the psychosis from Trump. Her evidence: that I used a word -- "perfect" -- months before he used it!
Lee has never met me, never examined me, never seen my medical records, never even spoken to anyone close to me.
Yet she was prepared to offer a diagnosis of "psychosis' which she attributed to my being one of President Trump's "followers." (I am a liberal Democrat who did not vote for Trump.)
Indeed, she went even further, diagnosing the severity and spread of "shared psychosis' among "just about all of Donald Trump's followers!"
Nor was she using these psychiatric terms as political metaphors, dangerous as that would be. She literally claimed that all of us were mentally ill and our views should be considered symptom of our illness, rather than as legitimate ideas that simply differed from hers.
Publicly offering "professional opinions" or diagnoses in the absence of a psychiatric examination, is a violation of Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Psychiatric Association.
According to the esteemed organization, "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." This is called the Goldwater Rule because it derives from the irresponsible acts of more than 1,000 psychiatrists diagnosing 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater as psychologically unfit to be president. Goldwater lost and went on to be one of the most productive and respected Senators, exhibiting no symptoms of any mental illness during his long and distinguished career. The psychiatric quacks who misdiagnosed him without ever examining him deserved the professional opprobrium they received. Evidently, Lee learned nothing from this sordid history
On the contrary, Lee herself has a long history of such unprofessional conduct. She previously diagnosed President Trump, whom I believe she also never met, as being psychotic. Then she accused me of having a "shared psychosis" with President Trump, and having "wholly taken on Trump's symptoms by contagion."
It is difficult to imagine anyone ever hiring Lee as a forensic psychiatrist to offer an actual diagnosis of a litigant. On cross-examination, she would have to admit that she has diagnosed "just about all of Donald Trump's followers" as having a "shared psychosis." This would likely include jury members and perhaps the judge, along with millions of voters.
If it is difficult to imagine Lee as an effective forensic witness, just try to imagine her as a fair teacher!
Even at Yale, some of Lee's students are likely to be Trump supporters. Would she grade them or diagnose them? Would she prescribe anti-psychotic drugs to students who she believed to be Trump "followers"? Would she refuse to recommend them because of their illness? Would they be entitled to the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act? Does she teach her students to diagnose their classmates and friends who disagree with them politically, instead of engaging with them?