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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Working with patients presenting with serious harm to themselves or others is an experience many mental health professionals will have during their careers. The possibility of working with this population might cause some apprehension for treatment providers because of the patient and professional risks involved. In this chapter we review the applicable legal theories of professional negligence and focus on the potential legal and professional ramifications that occur when mental health professionals do not rise to the applicable standard of care when working with suicidal or aggressive patients. Additionally, this chapter provides an outline of the legally imposed duties that treatment providers have to their patients so as to promote effective and ethical treatment of those presenting with the possibility of serious harm to themselves and others.

Keywords: risk management, professional negligence, standard of care, suicide, aggression

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