Yale professor of forensic psychiatry Dr. Bandy Lee has issued a long-distance diagnosis of “psychosis” for emeritus Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz for defending the Constitutional rights of President Donald Trump.
“Dr. Bandy Lee has never met me, never examined me, never seen my medical records, and never spoken to anyone close to me,” writes Dershowitz for the Gatestone Institute Saturday. “Yet she is prepared to offer a diagnosis of ‘psychosis’ which she attributes to my being one of President Trump’s ‘followers.’ (I voted for Hillary Clinton and am a liberal Democrat.)”
Last week Dr. Lee warned on Twitter of “the severity and spread of ‘shared psychosis’ among just about all of Donald Trump’s followers,” among whom she included Prof. Dershowitz.
Lee was referring to assertions by Dershowitz that President Donald Trump had even more legal authority to eliminate Qasem Soleimani than former President Barack Obama had to take out Osama bin Laden in 2011.
She seems not to be using these psychiatric terms as “political metaphors,” Dershowitz responded Saturday, as dangerous as that would be. “She is literally claiming that we are mentally ill and our views should be considered symptoms of our illness, rather than as legitimate ideas.”
Dershowitz notes that pronouncing a public diagnosis of a person without a psychiatric examination “is a violation of psychiatric ethics and the rules of the American Psychiatric Association.”
Lee has “a history of such unethical conduct,” he continues. “She previously diagnosed President Trump as being psychotic. Now she is doubling down accusing me of having a ‘shared psychosis’ with President Trump, and having ‘wholly taken on Trump’s symptoms by contagion.’”
“It is difficult to imagine anyone ever hiring Dr. Lee as a forensic psychiatrist to offer an actual diagnosis of a litigant,” Dershowitz quips. “On cross-examination she would have to admit that she has diagnosed ‘just about all of Donald Trump’s followers’ as having ‘shared psychosis.’ This would likely include jury members and perhaps the judge, along with millions of voters.”
The emeritus professor goes on to imagine how Dr. Lee must conduct herself in the classroom where some of her students are likely to be Trump followers, and therefore “psychotic.”
“Would she grade them — or diagnose them? Would she prescribe anti-psychotic drugs to her students who she believed were Trump ‘followers’? Would she refuse to recommend them because of their illness?” he queries.
Perhaps most troubling about Lee’s remarks is how illustrative they are of the current socio-political climate in the United States, Dershowitz suggests.
“Her resort to diagnosis rather than dialogue is a symptom of a much larger problem that faces our divided nation — too many Americans are refusing to engage in reasoned dialogue with people with whom they disagree,” he writes.
And because of that, “Dr. Lee is part of that problem, not its solution,” he concludes.