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.
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