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American Psychiatric Association warns against diagnosing ‘public figures’ without examining them


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The American Psychiatric Association sent a memo to its members advising them not to diagnose “public figures” with illnesses or certain dispositions without first actually examining them.

What did the memo say?

Reaffirming its stance against long-distance diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association said that “public figures whom they have not examined” should not receive a diagnosis, nor should members of the American Psychiatric Association be making off-the-cuff diagnoses without having the information to back their determination.

“We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media,” a portion of the statement read.

“Arm-chair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical,” the statement continued.

The American Psychiatric Association reminded its members in a memo of “The Goldwater Rule,” a rule that’s been in place since 1973. The rule says it’s unethical for psychiatrists to give professional opinions on public figures who haven’t been examined first-hand.

Dr. Saul Levin, the American Psychiatric Association’s CEO and medical director, was quoted in the association’s news release saying that the “APA stands behind this rule.”


Just because they say he's crazy...

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