Wednesday, May 3, 2017

American Psychiatric Association Upholds Goldwater Ethics Rule

Since early January 2017, Dr. Antonio Bullon has treated patients at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Maryland, as an attending psychiatrist. In addition to caring for geriatric patients at the hospital, Dr. Antonio Bullon remains actively involved with his professional community through the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This organization supports psychiatric patients and helps ensure they receive the highest level of care possible.

The APA is also concerned with ethics regarding the care of psychiatric patients. Recently, the organization upheld the Goldwater Rule, an ethics guideline that states member psychiatrists should refrain from giving professional opinions about individuals they have not personally evaluated.

The Goldwater Rule dates back to 1973, although it came about from the 1964 presidential election. At this time, Fact magazine questioned more than 12,000 psychiatrists about Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate. More than 2,400 psychiatrists responded to the survey, with 1,189 saying that he was psychiatrically unfit for the presidency.

Goldwater sued the magazine for publishing the results of this survey and Fact was found liable for damages. The APA came to the conclusion that it was unethical and unprofessional for theses care providers to issue an opinion about someone they had not personally evaluated, and subsequently drafted the rule to prevent such occurrences in the future.