During the 1964 presidential election, a magazine called Fact ran a poll of psychiatrists on Barry Goldwater, the GOP nominee who was regarded by many as a right-wing kook and an unstable warmonger. The psychiatrists, none of whom had examined Goldwater, largely echoed that sentiment in their responses, and after Goldwater lost, he sued successfully for libel. As a result of the scandal, the American Psychiatric Association introduced the “Goldwater rule,” which stated that psychiatrists should refrain from giving their professional opinion on public figures they have not treated. For decades, this was an uncontroversial policy that resulted in scant complaint from psychiatrists.
Read the rest of Elizabeth’s article on VICE.