Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychopharmacological treatment.
On Sunday, following the trouncing Joe Biden laid upon Paul Ryan by having the audacity of calling him out on his lies, FOX news had to bring out the “Medical A-Team” and their hired gun, Keith Ablow to give Fox a televised blow job by doing an on-air “Differential Diagnoses.”
Now Keith is a board certified psychiatrist and what he terms to be a forensic psychiatrist. He’s been used in Court. Of course, expert witnesses in Court will be experts for whoever is willing to pay them to testify. Usually these people arrive with their resumes and little else, to put on a show for Judges and Juries that belie the actual facts. You will note that on nearly all high-profile cases, you have experts on both sides with equally impressive resumes, providing diametrically opposing viewpoints upon examination of the same facts. Expert witnesses always need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Keith Ablow is something else. He’s adept at completing psychoanalysis on people he’s never met, never interviewed nor ever reviewed any in-depth history on who they are or what they have experienced. Then he goes on air and “projects” his opinions with authority and knowledge to back up the narrative of the people on FOX who pay him. He’s gone after LGBT in general and Chaz Bono in particular, he’s gone after President Obama (of course) and anyone that FOX wants to vilify.
As a Board Certified Psychiatrist, are Ablow’s on-air differentials ethical? Do they even correspond with the Hippocratic Oath?
Now in reality, doctors are not held legally to the Hippocratic Oath (I’ll discuss Ethics later on). It’s merely a long guideline for those in the medical field dating back to the fifth century BC. However, there is one passage of the Oath I found interesting for this rant:
“What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.”
This boils down to patient’s confidentiality. Now Ablow’s loophole to this is that the people he vilifies on behalf of FOX are not, nor ever will be his patients. So he’s allowed to make unsubstantiated claims about them based on the weakest of supporting evidence to sell a narrative to the lemmings that watch and believe in FOX.
I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist, but I will be playing one for this rant as I analyze “Mr.” Ablow and those who use him and those who give him any credence of professionalism.
Mr. Ablow graduated from Brown University in 1983 magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in neurosciences. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from John Hopkins Medical School in 1987 and completed his psychiatry residency at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. As a medical student, he worked as a reporter for Newsweek, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. Since 1996 he has had a private practice in forensic, adult and adolescent psychiatry. As mentioned above, he’s also a hired gun, excuse me, “expert witness” having testified in numerous high-profile cases to include Dr. Richard Sharpe, Clark Rockefeller, Richard Rosenthal, Mary Winkler and Joseph Druce.
Of interest is that on January 6, 2010, Mr. Ablow was physically assaulted and kicked in the head by white supremacist and alleged murderer Keith Luke while visiting him in jail. He had been hired to assist in his “insanity defense.” It was after this attack that Mr. Ablow became more notorious in his “psychiatric opinions” on air.
In April 2011 he criticized designer Jenna Lyons for publishing an advertisement in the J. Crew catalogue in which she was depicted painting her young son’s toenails hot pink. Mr. Ablow stated that by doing this one act would result in the child having long-term issues with “gender identity” and stated that gender distinctions are “part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race.”
During the 2012 GOP primary, Mr. Ablow wrote a column arguing that Newt Gingrich’s three marriages actually made him more qualified to be president: “When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.” Even Rod Dreher of “The American Conservative” stated that Ablow’s argument represented “shamelessness crossing the line from character defect to psychopathology.”
In February 2012, Mr. Ablow with Steve Doocy decided to go after Media Matters chief David Brock because Mr. Brock has the ability to show FOX for the hypocritical nut jobs that they are by playing their statements in full context. Brock makes FOX look bad so they used hired gun Ablow to go after him.
In September, 2011, Mr. Ablow decided to go after Chaz Bono who was in the spot light at the time due to his involvement with “Dancing with the Stars.”
Mr. Ablow was on FOX and authored opinion pieces using his role as a psychiatrist warning kids to not watch Chaz. His verbal assault on Chaz Bono and transgendered people prompted Cristan Williams, the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation to author an open letter to Beverly Sheehan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society:
I found this letter interesting and it prompted me to pull American Psychiatric Association’s “Principles of Medical Ethics” With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry.
Section 1 refers to “A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.”
- A psychiatrist shall not gratify his or her own needs by exploiting the patient. The psychiatrist shall be ever vigilant about the impact that his or her conduct has upon the boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship, and thus upon the well-being of the patient. These requirements become particularly important because of the essentially private, highly personal, and sometimes intensely emotional nature of the relationship established with the psychiatrist.
- A psychiatrist should not be a party to any type of policy that excludes, segregates, or demeans the dignity of any patient because of ethnic origin, race, creed, age, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.
“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”
And now to the reason I decided to rant about Mr. Ablow, his analysis of Joe Biden’s performance at the Vice Presidential Debate. Note he made no mention of the truth of the matter’s discussed, but his analysis of a man he never met, never interviewed, never researched, and was never asked by either himself or family to involve himself in the Vice President’s conduct. If family or friends retain a psychiatrist to evaluate an individual, it’s because they are concerned for behavior that places that person at risk to themselves or others. When FOX retains a psychiatrist, it’s to fulfill a disinformation campaign and character assault because this person just humiliated someone they support. This just doesn’t sound ethical to me:
So Mr. Ablow diagnosed Joe Biden as possibly alcoholic, demented, etc simply because he confronted Paul Ryan on easily disprovable lies and didn’t let him get away with those lies. His behavior wasn’t indicative of someone suffering from any disorder, quite the contrary; he owned the room and dealt with a liar. No other rational explanation is plausible. Mr. Ablow’s conduct hasn’t gone over well with peers in his profession.
From John M. Grohol, PSYD of PsychCentral:
Dr. Grohol asks a very poignant question, “Should a psychiatrist be discussing differential diagnoses of the Vice President of the United States especially if they’ve never even met the man?”
I’ve never met or interviewed Keith Ablow and I am not a board certified psychiatrist. So based on the standards established by FOX and Ablow, I’m going to make a diagnosis on this blog.
Keith Ablow exhibits Freudian Psychological Projection based on a need to be heard and to get attention. He misses the attention he received as a child from his parents who spent long nights with him cleaning up the wet spots on his mattress from bedwetting. The kick to his head from the White Supremacist has created additional feelings of inadequacy and need for validation. This has also led to his addiction to psychotropic medications and skittles. Or maybe he’s just an asshole.
This differential diagnoses is just as valid as Ablow’s and should be given as much validation as his.