by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
Dr. Allen Frances is a distinguished academic psychiatrist. According to Wikipedia, when he was a young professor at Cornell University Medical College, Dr. Frances “headed the outpatient department, saw patients, taught, established a brief therapy program, and developed research specialty clinics for schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, and AIDS.” Subsequently, as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, he “helped to expand the research, training, and clinical programs,” founded two respected journals, and wrote many important articles and books. Among Dr. Frances’s many achievements, the most noteworthy from a layman’s perspective was his influential critique of the proliferation of psychiatric diagnoses.
Sadly, however, Dr. Frances appears to have succumbed to a disorder that has yet to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Trump Derangement Syndrome. In a CNN interview yesterday, he took the sensible position that psychiatrists ought not to try to diagnose the President, or anyone else, without a proper, in person, examination. Unfortunately, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to engage in some over-the-top Trump bashing of his own: “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were.”
Here’s wishing Dr. Frances a swift recovery!