Tuesday, January 24, 2023


 Yale finally cut ties with the psychiatrist who publicly diagnosed President Donald Trump as psychotic though she had never met him.

 It did not renew the contract of an unpaid volunteer and untenured “assistant professor.” Bandy X. Lee, M.D., 52, has resisted the decision with fury. Yale brought this on itself. It tacitly condoned the misconduct for years and only changed course in 2020 in response to the complaints of another of the doctor’s victims, Alan Dershowitz, emeritus professor of Harvard Law School.

 At that time, a three-year contract was set to expire on June 30, 2020. The school authorities took up the question whether Dr. Lee was so plainly indispensable that putting up with all the “noise” around her was a small price to pay to keep for faculty, students, and staff the gift of herself.

 Notice was served in May of 2022 that the contract would not be renewed. The notice was preceded by a meeting between the doctor and four colleagues who unanimously decided against renewal.

 The notice was followed by “multiple informal attempts to be heard” (her words) and then by an appeal to the chairman of the department of psychiatry, who said no; an appeal to the provost, who said no; and an appeal to the president of the university, who said no.

 That was followed by a lawsuit claiming that the doctor had a guaranteed right to renewal of the contract. U.S. District Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam disagreed and dismissed the case on motion of the defendant-university.

 Dr. Lee changed lawyers. The new lawyers made an untimely, baseless, and unavailing attempt to get Judge Merriam to reconsider her ruling. An appeal is pending at this writing. See Bandy X. Lee M.D., MDiv. v. Yale University, No. 21 cv 389 on the docket of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and No. 22-2634 on the docket of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

 The attacks upon President Trump date to May of 2017, i.e., before the start of the contract that expired in June 2020. The memorandum opinion and order Judge Merriam issued on August 30, 2022 suggests that Dr. Lee would have enjoyed an uneventful renewal of the contract but for the complaints of Professor Dershowitz.

 She violated the Goldwater Rule of the American Psychiatric Association. A psychiatrist may not diagnose an individual she has not examined, to say nothing of the ban on public disclosures about an individual without the consent of that individual. Dr. Lee concluded that the Goldwater Rule did not apply to President Trump.

Copyright © 2023 David H. McCarthy III