Systematically improving patient safety is of the utmost importance, but it is also an extremely complex and challenging task. This illuminating study evaluates the role of professionalism, regulation and law in seeking to improve safety, arguing that the 'medical dominance' model is ill-suited to this aim, which instead requires a patient-centred vision of professionalism. It brings together literatures on professions, regulation and trust, while examining the different legal mechanisms for responding to patient safety events. Oliver Quick includes an examination in areas of law which have received little attention in this context, such as health and safety law, and coronial law, and contends in particular that the active involvement of patients in their own treatment is fundamental to ensuring their safety.
Introduction; 1. The rise and fall of professional dominance; 2. The problem of patient safety; 3. Regulation and trust; 4. Professional regulation and patient safety; 5. Complaining and claiming; 6. The criminalisation of medical harm; 7. Coronial investigations and inquests; 8. Professional responsibility: speaking up and saying sorry; 9. Patients, carers and safety. Conclusion.
This illuminating study provides a detailed discussion of the role of law and regulation in patient safety and argues that medical professionalism must evolve to embrace a patient-centred perspective. It will appeal to researchers of medical law and ethics, and those working on public health and social policies.
Oliver Quick is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminal law, medical law and public health law. He has published numerous articles in these fields, and is co-author of Reconstructing Criminal Law (with Nicola Lacey and Celia Wells, Cambridge, 2010). He has carried out empirical research into how UK prosecutors and experts interpret the controversial crime of 'medical manslaughter'. He obtained his Ph.D. thesis from the University of Wales, Cardiff and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Western Australia, Perth, Boston University and the National University of Singapore.
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