Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tamar Epstein's Heter: Psychologist Dr Baruch Shulem says the first concern is that the therapists need to be reported to the professional bodies for making a report about someone they never met

I had a discussion today with Dr. Baruch Shulem - one of the leading psychologists in Israel - about the use of forensic reports made by psychologists/psychiatrists about someone they never met. In addition about the belief of poskim that psychology/ psychiatry is a science and that conclusions made by therapists can be totally accepted and halacha paskened - without concern with how those conclusions were reached.

He said I could report in his name the following. The critical issue in the present case is not the mistaken belief that psychology is a science like medicine - even though it is in fact a significant problem. The most important thing is that this heter should never have been given because a therapist is not allowed to give a report about someone they have never met. He therefore said that it is critical to get the names of the therapists and make complaints to the AMA, APA and other relevant organizations. In addition he strongly advised going to a lawyer to see what legal actions can be taken against these therapists.

Aside from being unethical or possibly illegal there is a major problem of their lack of validity. Consequently there is no factual basis for the heter. It is elementary that one can not issue a psak without knowing what the facts are.

Anyone who knows who the therapists are that wrote the reports for Tamar Epstein's heter - should  let me know their names and any other details that might help in reporting them.  If anyone can send me a copy of the reports - that would be very helpful.

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