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The attempt to identify individuals at the very early stages of psychotic illness, before they suffer from a psychotic episode, has clinical, ethical, and social implications. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the ethical issues that arise from the attempt to identify and treat psychosis risk. We organize such concerns around four questions: (i) What are the ethical implications of the attempt to predict psychosis? (ii) What ethical issues arise in the assessment of psychosis risk? (iii) How should psychosis risk be communicated to healthy or help-seeking individuals? (iv) What kind of interventions ought to be offered based on psychosis risk? We argue that these questions should be kept in mind by relevant stakeholders, in order to promote critical reflection on viable solutions in research and clinical efforts. Lastly, we outline some potentially harmful overlaps between the logic of risk in psychosis prediction and the logic of risk in mental health legislation.

Original publication





Book title

Risk Factors for Psychosis: Paradigms, Mechanisms, and Prevention

Publication Date



335 - 350