The philosophical basis of the prevalent biological model of psychiatry is examined critically, with particular reference to the reductionism inherent in such an approach The pharmacological response initiated by the biological approach is then considered, and the perfidious nature of the complicity between psychiatry and the pharmacological/industrial nexus drawn out Biological psychiatry is then situated within the prevailing political and economic ideology of the 1990s, and the move towards more community-based psychiatry examined from this perspective Finally, the stresses necessitated by the incompatibility of many nursing models with the biological paradigm are addressed This is, as the title suggests, a deliberately polemical and provocative paper, which is offered to stimulate debate both on the future of psychiatric/mental health nursing as a soundly theory-based speciality, and also on the uncritical acceptance of the biological paradigm Wholesale adoption of this paradigm is considered to be inimical to many of the values notionally espoused by nursing, as well as posing dangers in the larger social field, in terms of the culturally acceptable notions of how we define ourselves, and how such definitions affect our conceptions of freedom, free will and agency