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Violence risk assessment as a medical intervention: ethical tensions

  • Ashimesh Roychowdhury (a1) and Gwen Adshead (a2)
Summary

Risk assessment differs from other medical interventions in that the welfare of the patient is not the immediate object of the intervention. However, improving the risk assessment process may reduce the chance of risk assessment itself being unjust. We explore the ethical arguments in relation to risk assessment as a medical intervention, drawing analogies, where applicable, with ethical arguments raised by general medical investigations. The article concludes by supporting the structured professional judgement approach as a method of risk assessment that is most consistent with the respect for principles of medical ethics. Recommendations are made for the future direction of risk assessment indicated by ethical theory.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Ashimesh Roychowdhury (ARoychowdhury@standrew.co.uk)
Footnotes
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© 2014 The Royal College of Psychiatrists. This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Violence risk assessment as a medical intervention: ethical tensions

  • Ashimesh Roychowdhury (a1) and Gwen Adshead (a2)
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