A secret group is seeking to create an official panel of medical experts in order to judge the mental health of President Trump and other would-be candidates.
Daily Caller reported that a clandestine group reportedly wants to create a psychiatric star chamber that could declare President Donald Trump mentally unfit for office.
The members would create a medical panel that would assess the psychiatric health of not only the current president but also anyone else seeking the office, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
The idea is similar to one previously floated by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who demanded Republicans have the president psychologically investigated.
A year ago a Yale professor, who has never met Trump, questioned the President’s “sanity.”
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From Washington Examiner
A secretive working group is devising a plan to create a medical panel that would screen the health of the president and candidates in the hopes of determining that President Trump is not fit for office or stopping another like him.
The public face of the five-person group, most of whom have decided to remain anonymous, is Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale University psychiatrist who edited a controversial book of essays concluding Trump is dangerous to the country because he has shown he is mentally unfit.
“Based on the experience with the current president, we are calling for regular fitness for duty exams on presidential and vice presidential candidates, preferably as a requirement sometime before they take on the job, and even preferably before they run,” Lee said.
Lee’s group realizes that Congress won’t enact such a requirement, which would include annual exam every year after winning the election, and instead is looking to demand that candidates voluntary submit to being examined by the panel.
They plan to publish a proposal and make the case that the medical panel is needed to prevent mentally unfit people from entering high office.
“We would like to keep this entire process as voluntary and confidential as possible, but also in a democracy we believe the public has a right to know if a dangerous person is pursuing the presidency,” Lee said.
The book Lee edited, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, outlined a model for an independent medical panel. The idea in the book was for Congress to create the panel, but now the group is finding a way to set it up without lawmakers.
The panel would have three neuropsychiatrists — one clinical, one academic, and one military — one clinical psychologist, one neurologist, and two internists. The mental and physical evaluations would be confidential, unless candidates choose to reveal them or insist on running despite unfitness.
The medical experts would be nominated by an outside organization, such as the highly respected National Academy of Medicine, and serve for six-year terms, with one rotated out and replaced every year.
“It’s just like having a medical checkup to make sure you qualify before going ahead,” Lee said. “Any reasonable person should be able to submit.”
Caplan envisions something similar to what hospitals do when they evaluate company executives. Dr. Donald Hensrud, who works in Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program in Rochester, Minn., said when someone is cleared in the program, Mayo sends “a very brief letter saying we uncovered no medical issues that would preclude that person from performing their duties.” If they find something troublesome, they send a brief letter stating there was a medical situation that might interfere, and the patient decides how to disclose the details.
Sometimes, determining which ailments could get in the way of people doing their jobs are clear-cut, such as the diagnosis of a fatal illness. Other times, they are less so.
“It happens all the time,” Hensrud said of considering which health issues would impact someone’s job, such as a history of depression. At Mayo, a team of doctors and people in occupational medicine work together to make a determination, seeking input from specialists where needed, he said.
“We try and obtain objective data and expert opinion as much as we can to help the assessment,” he said.
Presidents get medical exams from doctors employed by the White House, an arrangement that critics say provides an opportunity for a cover-up to keep someone in power. This has been the practice throughout history, whether hiding the heart attack of Dwight D. Eisenhower or the extent of the chronic pain John F. Kennedy faced.
Last year, the White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, read the results of Trump’s physical to the public and took questions from reporters. He said the president needed to lose weight but declared him “fit for duty.”
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