Ethical Issues in the Assessment of Terror Subjects

The psychiatric evaluation of people who have committed acts of terrorism requires a unique sensitivity to cultural and political context. This is because terrorism has multiple definitions and can be used to silence political and ethnic minorities. There- fore, professional appraisals of risk and threat may require an ethics approach that intertwines individual and community factors, considering history and culture along- side individual risks. Narrative ethics using root cause and liberation theories may be one method to assess both contextual and personal contributions to terrorist behaviour, and provide a robust account of the cultural and contextual realities of terrorism.

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