Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Dr. Bandy X. Lee, Fired from Yale, Sues

One wonders why this story never made the news. Last May, Yale University’s School of Medicine fired Dr. Bandy X. Lee for her unhinged statements about President Donald Trump.

The story was reported in the Yale Daily News, but rarely in other media outlets. Obviously, this contrasts with the coverage that Dr. Lee's initial diagnosis of Trump received.

You will recall that Dr. Lee led the charge against Trump’s mental fitness for office, denouncing him as a pathological narcissist, or some such. Trump detractors wanted to use her testimony in order to have the president removed from office via the 25th Amendment.

But, she did not just limit herself to denouncing Trump. She denounced Trump supporters for  sharing the same psychosis.

Now, of course, she is suing Yale. The Daily Mail has the news:

Dr Brandy Lee, a former faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry in School of Medicine, filed a complaint against the Yale Monday claiming that she was unlawfully terminated 'due to her exercise of free speech about the dangers of Donald Trump's presidency.' 

Dr Lee has been a vocal critic of Trump over the years, notably sending a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2019 claiming that President Trump is showing 'signs of delusion' amid his first impeachment inquiry. 

The former professor said in her complaint that Yale fired her for a January 2020 tweet where she described how 'just about all' of Trump's supporters suffered from 'shared psychosis.'

Among those she denounced, was Prof. Alan Dershowitz. See this blog's post about that issue. Perhaps she picked a fight with the wrong opponent. She accused Dershowitz of having taken on Trump’s psychotic symptoms by contagion. To which Dershowitz responded by filing a grievance against her.

The Yale Daily News has also reported the story about her lawsuit:

According to court documents, after Dershowitz sent his letter on Jan. 11, chair of the Psychiatry Department John Krystal MED ’84 warned Lee via an email that the department “would be compelled to ‘terminate [her] teaching role’” if she continued to make similar public statements. She continued to tweet about the mental fitness of Trump even after Krystal’s warning. Lee then met with Krystal and additional unnamed faculty members and was told that she “breached psychiatric ethics,” according to an email excerpt in the filing. According to court documents, Yale refused to hold additional discussions or investigate the accusations further. On May 17, 2020, Lee was notified that she was terminated. She appealed the decision multiple times in August and September, to no avail.

Krystal wrote to Lee in a Sept. 4 letter included in the court filing that the department’s main consideration in the termination was her “clinical judgement and professionalism” after she publicly stated her “diagnostic impressions” of Trump and other public figures. Krystal emphasized in the letter that the termination “was not because of the political content” of her statements.

“Although the committee does not doubt that you are acting on the basis of your personal moral code,” the letter read, “your repeated violations of the APA’s Goldwater Rule and your inappropriate transfer of the duty to warn from the treatment setting to national politics raised significant doubts about your understanding of crucial ethical and legal principles in psychiatry.”



Sam L. said...

I am greatly (GREATLY) amazed that Yale fired her. I have never read/heard/thought that YALE would EVER even THINK of saying/doing something that might even begin to be considered as favorable to/for Trump.

Anonymous said...

Who knows, Lee might have been good for Yale's fundraising. The New York Times certainly found it financially beneficial to stop pretending to be anything other than Pravda-on-the-Hudson.

But then an aggressive high profile lawyer filed a grievance against Lee, no doubt with specific allegations of offenses requiring -- with documentation.

From the article, Yale counseled her, warned her, etc. and she still failed to comply with the APA ethical standards she probably agreed in writing to as a condition of her job, and all that was documented.)

Yale has its principles. Like not wanting to get sued by a high profile lawyer with a good case. Like not wanting further grievances filed with accrediting agencies.

Maybe Dersh followed Alinsky's 4th rule: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

KCFleming said...

Finally a just outcome.
May have been forced into doing the right thing, but still.