A Misguided Venture: Presidential Fitness and the Duty to Warn

Authors: Charles G. Kels, JD, Lori H. Kels, MD, MPH


A small but vocal cadre of mental health professionals has questioned President Donald Trump’s fitness for office and claimed that his mental state is dangerous.1,2 These experts have frequently cited a “duty to warn” as the ethical basis for their outspokenness.3 The rallying cry of an obligation to protect the public from a dangerous president has inspired a medical conference at Yale,4 an eponymous online movement,5 and a best-selling collection of essays assessing the president’s psychological instability.6

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