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by Professor Lisa
Downing and Dr Jonathan
Published: February 2021
Psychiatrists are required 'in the exercise of [their]
functions' to 'have due regard to the need to prevent people from
being drawn into terrorism' (Section 26(1) of the Counter-Terrorism
and Security Act 2015). When carrying out their Prevent duty,
psychiatrists may find themselves in situations where their ethical
commitment to freedom of expression and wish to avoid perpetuating
social stigma are challenged by, or appear in conflict with, this
In response to the enactment of this statutory
duty, the Royal College of Psychiatrists'
(RCPsych's) Professional Practice and Ethics Committee
offers guidance on ethical considerations arising from the
Government's counter-terrorism strategy in Position Statement
PS04/16S. This includes specific guidance on the risk of
perpetuating stigma for people with 'mental illness', 'certain
communities', and those who 'dissent against authority'.
This module should enable participants to
learn and practise how to critically evaluate the risk of reducing
freedom of expression and perpetuating stigma, while upholding this
If you like this module, you may also be interested in:
Ethical considerations arising from the
Government's counter-terrorism strategy by Dr Jonathan
Hurlow, Dr Richard Burrows, Dr Saba Mattar and Dr Shazad
Pathways to sympathies for violent protest and
terrorism (podcast) by Professor Kamaldeep Bhui
Counter-terrorism and psychiatry (podcast) by
Dr Jonathan Hurlow
Download take-home notes to print and