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It is ethical to diagnose a public figure one has not personally examined

  • John Gartner (a1), Alex Langford (a2) and Aileen O'Brien (a3)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.
Summary

Should psychiatrists be able to speculate in the press or social media about their theories? John Gartner argues the risk to warn the public of concerns about public figures overrides the duty of confidentiality; whereas Alex Langford suggests this is beyond the ethical remit of psychiatric practice.

Declaration of interest

A.O'B is joint debates and analysis Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry. J.G. is the founder of Duty To Warn, an association of mental health professionals who advocate the president's removal under the 25th Amendment on the grounds that he is psychologically unfit and dangerous.

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References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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It is ethical to diagnose a public figure one has not personally examined

  • John Gartner (a1), Alex Langford (a2) and Aileen O'Brien (a3)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.
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