I don’t normally quote Reason, but they do mention something that I find really irritating:
Undeterred by how wrong they got the Columbine shootings 13 years ago, or how disgustingly politicized they turned Jared Loughner’s 2011 rampage, the humans who work for and talk with journalistic outlets are again rushing to speculative judgment about Jim Holmes, the suspected Batman murderer in Aurora, Colorado.
It turns out that there’s actually a precept of the American Psychological Association known as the Goldwater rule that states that 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 statement1.”
Wild speculation doesn’t help and can be harmful. I’m inclined to let the appropriate experts make their informed conclusion rather than make guesses based on potentially-unreliable reports or claims in the media.
If only more people thought the same way…
- http://psychiatry.org/FileLibrary/Practice/EthicsDocuments/Ethics-Principles-2010.pdf, Page 9, Section 7, Principle #3 [↩]