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Article : Les psychiatres peuvent-ils commenter la santé mentale de Donald Trump ?

le 5 mars 2018

In October, psychiatrist Bandy Lee published a collection of essays written largely by mental health professionals who believe that their training and expertise compel them to warn the public of the dangers they see in Trump’s psychology. The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President  rejects the position of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that psychiatrists should never offer diagnostic opinions about persons they have not personally examined.2  Past APA president Jeffrey Lieberman has written in Psychiatric News  that the book is “not a serious, scholarly, civic-minded work, but simply tawdry, indulgent, fatuous tabloid psychiatry.” I believe it shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly.

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump  challenges the APA position that a psychiatrist cannot know enough about a person she has not interviewed to formulate a diagnostic impression. Contrary to the APA, a physician who has not formally evaluated a patient is not making a diagnosis in the medical sense, but rather using diagnostic speculation and terminology informally, with the benefit of education. That characterization applies to the orthopedist or physical medicine specialist speculating on the knee injury of the football player limping off the field and the dermatologist wincing at a stranger’s melanoma in the grocery line as well as to the psychiatrist interpreting Trump’s public statements. Physicians don’t stop knowing what we know when we leave the clinic. Psychiatric terminology has become part of the common parlance, and the authors in Dangerous Case  describe and define that terminology much better than, say, Ralph Northam. The question is whether psychiatrists are the ones we should hear it from.

Lire l'artcile sur le site du New England Journal of Medicine