Ethical considerations arising from the Government's counter-terrorism strategy

Dr Jonathan Hurlow, Dr Richard Burrows, Dr Saba Mattar and Dr Shazad Farooq

60 minutes


August 2021

Learning module

CPD domain:

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Section 26(1) of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 states that specified authorities, including healthcare bodies, 'must, in the exercise of [their] functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.'

In his assessment of the 2017 attacks in London and Manchester, Lord Anderson QC highlighted the importance of ensuring that all suitable individuals are referred to Prevent (part of the Government's wider CONTEST anti-terrorism strategy) and that there is a reinforcement of the process and statutory duties (Anderson, 2017).

It can be difficult to reflect objectively about the potential pitfalls and risks that this duty creates. In its Position Statement PS04/16, The Royal College of Psychiatrists identified that 'for the psychiatric profession, these include ethical, clinical, professional-boundary and confidentiality issues.' This module should equip participants with the knowledge and opportunities to weigh up these challenges in keeping with principles of good psychiatric practice.

This module focuses on the contents of the Professional Practice & Ethics Committee supplemental position statement: Ethical considerations arising from the government's counter-terrorism strategy. Supplement to: Counter-terrorism and psychiatry (PS04/16S) (RCPsych, 2017a).


We are pleased to offer this module free for those without a paid subscription. If you are a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, you can log in straight away using the same username and password with which you access the members' area of the College website. Otherwise, all you need to do is register with the College.

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