Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors will be asked to help identify people at risk of becoming terrorists

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 08 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3627

How do we diagnose a "terrorist " ?

Assuming the unlikely scenario that doctors in the UK agree to look
out for potential terrorists among the hundreds of patients they see each
year, what incriminating signs and symptoms will aid us in spotting a
suspect who may on the brink of committing an a violent act?

With relevant knowledge, training and experience all clinicians
acquire necessary diagnostic skills in recognising disease or in ruling it
out for they are primed by their choice of specialty, example of their
mentors and instinct to succeed.

Aside from the very obvious silliness of the proposal to recruit
doctors for pre-emptive anti-terrorist role, practical considerations
are, in my judgment, insurmountable.

How about encouraging supperannuated politicians to take up ths role?
It could provide very interesting
fodder for their lucrative memoirs.

Competing interests: I was born in Northern India [now Pakistan ]

10 June 2011
Abdul Jaleel
Retired NHS Consultant
Citizen of the global village