Ever since the rise of Adolf Hitler, mental health professionals have sought to use their knowledge of human psychology to understand - and intervene in - political developments. From Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump, psychiatrists have commented, sometimes brashly, on public figures' mental health. But is the practice ethical? While the American Psychiatric Association prohibits psychiatric comment on public figures under its 'Goldwater Rule', others disagree. Diagnosing from a Distance is the first in-depth exploration of this controversy. Making extensive use of archival sources and original interviews, John Martin-Joy reconstructs the historical debates between psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians in an era when libel law and professional standards have undergone dramatic change. Charting the Goldwater Rule's crucial role in the current furor over Trump's fitness for office, Martin-Joy assesses the Rule's impact and offers a more liberal alternative. This remarkable book will change the way we think about psychiatric ethics and public life.
Thomas G. Gutheil - Harvard University
Samantha Barbas - University of Buffalo
James T. Hamilton - Hearst Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Journalism Program, Stanford University
Dominic A. Sisti - Director, The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care, University of Pennsylvania
Lawrence J. Friedman - Professor of History Emeritus, Harvard University and Indiana University