At Risk of Madness

Nikolas Rose

in Embracing Risk

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780226035185
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226035178 | DOI:
At Risk of Madness

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This chapter explores a very different embrace of risk, that of “psy-professionals” (the chapter's general term for the array of professionals and para-professionals who wield expertise and power in modern mental health systems). The chapter undertakes what the chapter calls a “diagnostic” approach to risk, exploring how risk has emerged in psychiatry, what consequences accompany governing madness through risk, what new “technologies of power and relations of authority” have arisen, and what ethical issues are raised by the heightened relation of psychiatry and risk. In the process, the chapter considers the role of tort liability and the management of risk and responsibility, and contends that “the shadow of the law” significantly shapes mental health workers' professional conduct. It argues that contemporary psychiatry confines patients not so much to cure them but more for the secure containment of risk.

Keywords: psy-professionals; mental health systems; psychiatry; madness; risk; tort liability

Chapter.  12374 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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