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Sep 1

Deciding the President’s Mental Fitness – New York Times

Those of us who are concerned about the effects of his unpresidential and sometimes frightening behavior must turn to other branches of government, such as Congress and the courts, to curb his influence.


The writer is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

To the Editor:

I vehemently object to the opinion of Peter D. Kramer and Sally L. Satel, built on the flawed assumption that authoritative, well-documented opinions by psychologists and psychiatrists could be distorted by the temptation to misuse diagnosis for partisan purposes.

They refer only to President Trumps narcissism. After studying him intently the past two years, I am not alone in concluding that his problems extend far beyond mere narcissism. I know far more about Mr. Trumps observable words and actions than those of patients I have seen for hundreds of hours.

Many do not understand that the president quite literally can launch nuclear missiles in under five minutes, with not one person or group having the power to intervene. Rather than being gagged by the Goldwater Rule, for psychiatrists the ethical violation is in remaining silent, not in speaking out.


The writer is a clinical psychologist.

To the Editor:

Peter D. Kramer and Sally L. Satel marshal potent arguments against a bill introduced by Democratic members of Congress that would create a commission, filled with psychiatrists and other physicians, to determine the presidents fitness for office. Such a bill would be dangerous and divisive for the Democratic Party. Dangerous, because such a blunt instrument could easily be turned against its originators at a later time and for lesser reason. Divisive, because, as the writers point out, it is easy for a presidents supporters to view its use as elitist and anti-democratic.

Indeed, it is just such overreach on the part of some Democrats that alienates me, a lifelong Democrat.


Read more from the original source:
Deciding the President's Mental Fitness - New York Times

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