Safety is dangerous...


Cartoon showing a man in four-point restraints -- and
gagged, besides -- buckled down in a chair with a
professional helper asking a question, solicitously:

"Are we feeling a little safer now?"






[photo, described below]

... or, at the very least, humiliating.


The photo above shows a helping professional monitoring her client's hair-combing behavior, judging it, then entering her judgment on a daily checklist. (Would you want this clipboard-checking stranger in your bathroom every morning?) It is one of our favorite photos of the helping system and first appeared in Psychology Today, the psychological bible of many helping professionals.

Joe Ehman wrote an article for us about the smile on that stranger's face. Click here to read it.

For more about help of this cheery-weary kind, click here.


Cartoon by the talented Scott Chambers
To see more of Scott's work, click here.

To see more evidence that safety is dangerous, click here.

Watch for further adventures in Safety in Mouth #59, notably The Wooster High French Fry Conspiracy.


April, 2000 update from a reader who asks that we not use his name

One of my best friends is a safety engineer who periodically goes on a prolonged rant about do-gooder safety. His primary points are (1) that EVERYONE is "safer" with a butt full of Thorazine and in four-point restraints, and (2) that do-gooder safety displaces the real safety issues. Real safety issues include wheelchair lifts that are designed with human factors of use in mind and negative pressure rooms that keep the air moving in the right way.
All his interests are presented in the context of active, real living. He has a daughter who is disabled and uses a wheelchair for both transportation and seating. He has never tried in any way to keep her "safe" in a bubble, just to make her supports responsive to her choices.
But I do love the term "do-gooder safety."