For the past couple of weeks, Charlie Sheen has dominated discussion on the TV and radio, as well as the social media space around You Tube and Twitter. He has captured the attention of the world with his outrageous outbursts of personal commentary. Experts from around the world have weighed in on exactly what's going on with Charlie Sheen, trying to determine if this is a wonderful case of preconceived mastery of the mass media, the ill effects of chronic alcohol and drug abuse, or as some have suggested, a clear case of a psychiatric disorder.
There is no lack of talking heads in the media willing to characterize these antics for those playing along at home. There are pitfalls in having medical experts specifically weigh-in and comment directly about the Charlie Sheen case. In medical ethics circles, there is a little well known term
called the Goldwater Rule, that prevents medical professionals comment, specifically, on the mental condition of a celebrity. This behavior of psychiatrists, who offered diagnoses of Goldwater without ever having examined him, led directly to new professional ethics standards from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) which has to occasionally remind psychiatrists of the Goldwater Rule against commenting on the mental conditions of people they have not personally examined. Such a reminder was issued in 2007 in response to comments about the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech.
The message is to beware of the public comments that are made regarding Charlie Sheen. Tonight, Dr. Jennifer Pate, the Chief of Psychiatry at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, will join Dr. Galati to discuss the Goldwater Rule, and all of the craziness surrounding Charlie Sheen.