Medicine is, actually, rather simple: you leave politics entirely out of it. This is why you are able to treat enemy combatants in the battlefield without any compromise. It is called “medical neutrality,” which is a basic requirement in professionalism. If we cannot meet it because of personal bias, we do not take the case; we examine both conscious and unconscious biases for this. Many such situations arise in our practice, not just this one. Being a forensic psychiatrist, I have to make sure I am not taking sides in a criminal or civil case. It may be taboo to say, but a genuinely humanitarian impulse led me to medicine, and since I have treated many prisoners, murderers, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists (I specialize in violent offenders), Donald Trump is not in the least exceptional, and I truly feel nothing but compassion and pity for him, as I do for my clients. But the public must not be placed in danger.

The science of medicine is different from engineering or basic science. It is an applied science, drawing upon thousands of research studies that require consolidation and synthesis for application to the complex human being, who may have any combination of thousands of possible diseases, in addition to a wide variety of personal traits. Our training for doing this is structured and standardized, based on exposure to actual disease and clinical practice (I do not get into the philosophy of science much, since we have a “check” of direct health outcomes). This is why, if we were in a case conference, given sufficient information, we usually arrive at a consensus. “Professional opinion” is different from any opinion for this reason, and is given the status of fact in legal courts. With Mr. Trump, while a diagnosis is impossible without full information, there has always been a consensus regarding his dangerousness, at least among competent and responsible mental health professionals. I have circulated this assessment among my colleagues, and we are in complete agreement. Hence, I stand by my conclusion and have no reason to doubt it. Thanks.

Written by

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (worldmhc.org), and editor of "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”

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