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Mental Health Homicide and Society

Understanding Health Care Governance

By: David P Horton
Media of Mental Health Homicide and Society
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Published: 22-04-2021
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781509951994
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £34.99
Online price : £31.49
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About Mental Health Homicide and Society

A homicide committed by a mentally disordered person who is under the care of health service professionals is a shocking event. Otherwise known as a 'patient homicide', these incidents are followed by an investigation into the care and treatment received by the perpetrator. These investigations are often regarded as a way to 'learn lessons', establish accountability and provide catharsis to families and the public. The book argues however that patient homicide events and the circumstances in which they occur are communicated about within closed systems of life (eg law, medicine). These systems operate according to unique internal logics. The communications produced by these systems, nevertheless, resonate in society and enable a diverse and complex space of governance to emerge – a space of governance in which universal understandings about patient homicides, health care, public safety and risk are unachievable.

The Scottish Government initiated reform of their patient homicide investigation procedures in 2017 and plans to reform patient homicide investigations in England are slowly germinating. This original and compelling book is therefore a timely and important contribution. It concludes that health policy makers should re-evaluate their normative commitments to patient homicide risk reduction in a world of disharmony, objection and resistance.

Table Of Contents

1. Homicide and Health Care: Context and Complexity
I. Introduction
II. Patient Homicide and Health Care
III. Background and Context
IV. Thinking About Complexity
V. Central Questions and Themes
VI. Conclusions
2. The Investigatory Domain
I. Introduction
II. The Inquiry
III. The Inquiry Industry
IV. Conclusions
3. Social Systems
I. Introduction
II. Theoretical Background
III. Conclusions
4. The Patient Homicide Governance Space
I. Introduction
II. Legal Realities
III. Political Realities
IV. Scientific Realities
V. Medical Realities
VI. Economic Realities
VII. Moral Realities
VIII. Mass Media Realities
IX. The Implications of Social Autopoiesis
X. Conclusions
5. Accountability and Time
I. Introduction
II. Accountability as Communication
III. The Concept of Time
IV. Accountability and Time
V. Conclusions
6. Risk and Protest
I. Introduction
II. The Concept of Risk
III. Protest and Politics
IV. Conclusions


“[T]his dense and closely argued book rewards the close reading that it requires, and the author is to be congratulated on bringing such detailed and sustained attention to this complex area.” –  Alex Ruck Keene, Mental Capacity Law and Policy Blog

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