Risk: What Is It, Whom Does It Protect, and What Happened to Care? Chapter uri icon

Book Title

  • Mental Health Policy, Practice, and Service Accessibility in Contemporary Society


  • Risk assessment and management are considered core elements of healthcare practice. However, a brief examination of the theoretical literature on risk demonstrates that it is not a fixed concept. This chapter will critically analyze the impact that focusing on risk has on healthcare practice. The authors will join many others in pointing out the many potential negative impacts of viewing healthcare through the lens of risk. One risk type, suicide risk, will be examined closely. It will be shown that health professionals often fear liability when risk is a factor. In order to dissuade these fears, the legal elements of liability will be outlined, and relevant common law judgements will be discussed. Finally, future directions will be discussed.

publication date

  • 2019