A prominent psychiatrist who called President Trump and his loyalists mentally ill failed to get her job back after Yale University parted ways with Dr. Bandy Lee two years ago, a judge ruled.
A federal judge in Connecticut dismissed a wrongful termination lawsuit that charged the Ivy League school with violating the woman’s free speech and professional obligations when she was not reappointed to her role with the school, the Harford Courant reported.
Lee, who was in an unpaid position, was with the school for 17 years before she was tossed aside. She argued in legal papers she had a “duty to warn” people about the “contagion” of Trump’s mental state, according to the Courant.
The prestigious university had questions about her judgment and ability to teach after she started making medical proclamations about Trump and others close to him, the newspaper reported.
Her statements go against the American Psychiatric Association rule that prohibits professional opinions of public figures who were not examined, her own lawsuit stated.
Lee insisted that didn’t apply to her because she isn’t a member of the organization and the rule is meant to prevent members from issuing grave public warnings.
“Trump’s presidency represented an emergency which not only allowed, but required, psychiatrists in the United States to sound the alarms,” Lee’s legal team said of her “professional responsibility to protect society.”
“Trump’s mental health was affecting the mental health” of everyone in the US, “placing the country at grave risk” and “undermining democracy itself,” according to the lawsuit of Lee, who also edited the 2017 book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”
Lee’s troubles began around the time one of Yale’s famous graduates, Alan Dershowitz, complained about her after she made an apparent long-distance evaluation of the Harvard professor.
“I think her own words prove that she acted unprofessionally, in violation of academic standards and in violation of the rules of psychiatry,” Dershowitz told the New Haven Register last year.
“I also think that it is unethical to falsely diagnose somebody whom she hasn’t met for political and ideological reasons.”
Yale department head Dr. John Krystal warned in a letter to Lee after the complaint from Dershowitz: “The recklessness of your comments creates the appearance that they are self-serving in relation to your personal political beliefs and other possible personal aspirations,” her lawsuit stated.
The reason the school said she was eventually let go was due to lack of a formal teaching role, the New Haven Register reported.
Lee, in a statement to the newspaper this week, said she wasn’t surprised by the outcome, but would keep fighting, “since my reason for launching the lawsuit in the first place was for the public good.”
US District Judge Sarah Merriam rejected Lee’s arguments because there was no guarantee that Yale would reappoint her regardless of her qualifications, the New Haven Register reported.
While Lee wasn’t paid, she claimed the Yale gig was worth potentially tens of thousands of dollars in perks and exposure that allowed her to consult globally, the Courant reported.