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John Chuckman

COMMENT SENT TO CBC RADIO’S QUIRKS AND QUARKS

Saturday January 13, 2018
Psychiatrist’s new warning that Trump’s mental state ‘is a national and international security risk’

I am a great fan of the program, but this piece was unscientific and did not belong on the show. It was political.

First, psychiatry is not an exact science, not at all.

Second, even if it were, it is unethical for a doctor to diagnose without examining the patient.

Third, the guest made at least one factual error.

The President cannot launch nuclear missiles on his own. There are back-ups in the chain of command. This was made clear during the last days of Nixon. It was also made clear recently by a senior military officer.

Please keep to science. We get enough politics, and I write this as someone who strongly dislikes Trump.

As a final note, America’s most beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, had a serious mental health problem.

He would go into deep depressions, and there is more than one theory of his condition, but it was serious.

That fact even further calls into question the idea of anyone’s diagnosing a politician as mentally unfit.

I would be glad to see Trump go, he is a very distasteful man, but this effort sets a dangerous precedent, and it creepily reminds me of the old Soviet psychiatrists who often sent dissidents to mental hospitals.

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