Our discussion this month was with Dr. Paul Appelbaum. It ranged from the history of current settled ethical positions to hot issues in ethics and law in psychiatry today. We discuss the history of involuntary hospitalization, genetics, human freedom, and responsibility and how these issues impact practitioners, patients, the legal system, and the general view of psychiatry in the public.
Also, in the context of recent political events, we discuss the Goldwater Rule, which prohibits psychiatrists from commenting on the mental health of public figures and really try to understand its origins and purposes to the field of psychiatry.
About Paul Appelbaum
Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Law, and Director, Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia. Dr. Appelbaum went to Harvard Medical School and his residency at Massachusetts mental health center. Dr. Appelbaum is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and has twice served as Chair of the Council on Psychiatry and Law and of the Committee on Judicial Action for the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Appelbaum is currently Chair of the DSM Steering Committee for APA, and of the Standing Committee on Ethics of the World Psychiatric Association. Dr. Appelbaum performs forensic evaluations in civil and criminal cases, and treats patients with a broad variety of problems, including depression, anxiety, and adjustment problems. Twitter: @appelbap