Drew Pinsky, best known as the “love” doctor and an addiction specialist, has been dropped by the HLN network only two days after TheImproper published a report about doctors who are violating medical ethics by commenting on the health of presidential candidates.
Pinsky has a long history of making sensational medical diagnoses of celebrities and others without examining them, seeing their medical records, or even knowing them.
He’s been outspoken about the health of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, even though he’s never examined her or seen her medical records, either.
“I think it’s outrageous and it’s irresponsible and it’s unethical,” said Dr. Paul K. Bronston, National Chairman of the Ethics and Professional Policy Committee of the American College of Medical Quality, in a recent interview.
“They have no business doing that if they haven’t reviewed their medical records, haven’t listened to appropriate doctors who are taking care of her, and they have to have the requisite specialty to comment on that,” he said.
Such speculation by medical doctors has been recognized as a violation of medical ethics since the mid-1960s.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other medical groups adopted the so-called “Goldwater Rule” as part of their ethics codes following the 1964 presidential election.
Conservative Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was barraged by medical diagnoses of his mental stability during the campaign.
The APA said at the time the speculation was nothing more than “political bias …wrapped up in the pseudo-technical flagellation of Senator Goldwater.”
The ethics rule forbids psychiatrists from “commenting on an individuals’ mental state without examining them personally and being authorized by the person to make such comments,” according to a trade journal.
“To attempt to diagnose an individual without that information does them a disservice and can harm the individual with an inaccurate label or diagnosis which can negatively impact them,” Dr. Robert Wergin, chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors said in a recent interview.
“It can lead to speculation regarding the individual that could be far from the truth,” he added.
Pinsky, a board-certified internist, said recently Clinton may have suffered brain damage after her 2012 concussion.
It’s not the first time he’s made off-the-cuff medical diagnoses.
He caused an uproar two years ago when he pronounced Jahi McMath dead on his show without ever seeing or examining her. The 13-year-old had suffered brain damage during surgery. She’s still alive.
In 2010, Pinsky was forced to apologize to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie after he said they were heading for a split of “nuclear” proportions because of Jolie’s purported “drug addiction” and Brad’s unemotional response to relationships.
His comments were criticized for being highly unprofessional for a board-certified doctor, and Pinsky said as much apologizing for his remarks.
Pinsky acknowledged he did not have any direct knowledge about the couple’s relationship before rendering his devastating “professional” opinion.
Pitt and Jolie just celebrated their two year wedding anniversary after being together as a couple for several years. They have six children.
Wild and mostly baseless speculation about Clinton’s health has become the latest attack point for right-wing conspiracy mongers intent on derailing her campaign.
Pinsky added fuel to the speculative fire by declaring he had “grave” concerns about Clinton’s health. Without examining her or reviewing her medical records, such comments are considered baseless from a medical perspective.
Clinton’s personal physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack is the only doctor qualified to issue a medical opinion about her.
She wrote a letter last month summarizing Clinton’s treatment for a brain concussion, blood clots affecting her legs and brain on separate occasions, an under-active thyroid gland and a family history of heart disease.
Bardack concluded that Clinton suffers from no serious health issues that would prevent her from carrying out her duties as president, according to The New York Times.
Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, has also been the target of widespread speculation about his health. Doctors have called him mentally unstable and possibly psychopathic.
IM cited as an example Dr. Justin A. Frank, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist and author, who talked extensively about Trump’s mental health in an ABC News interview.
Trump has yet to disclose any details about his health.
In a statement, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz called the cancellation a “mutual” decision. CNN owns the HLN network.
Pinsky’s last show will be Sept. 22, according to CNN. He will remain a contributor to the news network.
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