Media coverage of infamous cases including Beverley Allitt, Harold Shipman, and the Bristol heart inquiry has alerted medical staff to the possibility of malicious action and incompetence, and led to increased questioning of professional judgement. However, most medical harm is unintentional, and can result from nearly every aspect of medical treatment. This volume highlights the potential for medical harm in all areas of practice. Separate chapters explore the potential for medical harm in diverse areas of practice, from the use of medication, technology, hospital routine, and clinical procedures, to the role of "talk" in areas such as mental illness and palliative care, and via services such as NHS direct. The practitioner is challenged to assess the potential risks inherent in the health care system, to reconsider established methods of treatment, and to re-examine professional working relationships. The book concludes with recommendations for reducing medical harm within the expanding scope of nursing practice.