Doctors are arguing that it's unethical to hold back their psychological evaluations of Trump

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

Psychiatrists think they should be allowed to offer their medical opinions on President Trump, no therapist's couch needed.

A group of doctors are appealing to the American Psychiatric Association in hopes of rolling back a rule that prohibits them from analyzing public figures, Stat reported Thursday.

The Goldwater rule is an APA policy that says psychiatrists and psychologists should never publicize their evaluations of a public figure's mental health, since they presumably haven't had an in-person evaluation. The ethics rule has long been controversial, because some experts feel it is their duty to help the public understand when a person's mental health concerns present "a clear and present danger to the public's health and well-being."

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Doctors who want to revise the Goldwater rule say medical professionals shouldn't be able break patient confidentiality for private individuals, but think that when there's an argument for national public benefit and safety, they have "an affirmative responsibility" to publicly discuss an evaluation. Some of the 22 medical professionals who organized the letter to the APA have faced consequences for publicly assessing Trump's psychological health, but insist they, especially, should not be the only citizens who are barred from considering their president's mental state. Read more at Stat.

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