Frank--interesting THEORIES you have. So what happens when you are working a forensics psych ward with 25 male patients, several of whom are relatively easily triggered, one assaults another and they begin fist-fighting, throwing chairs, etc. And the staff consists of you (an RN) and ONE aide to help out. Several of the patients are now "getting high" on adrenaline, shouting, beginnning to get into each others' spaces, etc.
If you can, you grab the major troublemaker and put him in restraints, then the next one, etc. until things calm down. If you need more help temporarily to do this, be aware that this "help" might take 15 or more minutes to arrive.
Whether restraining or decking "bothers you" is beside the point. It might bother you a lot more to have your two front teeth punched out (as happened to one of my co-workers) in a similar situation. Fortunately, this was just before shift change, so while I was wrestling with the chief assailant (I had to physically pull him off her as he was trying to twist her head off, literally), one of the new staff happened to come in and notice us. Together we wrestled him into restraints in a seclusion room.
So while your theories may sound "nice" and "humane," we are talking about the real world here, not a nursing school
exercise. Liberal sentimentalism (as one of your own--Terry Eagleton terms it in his excellent and amusing "The Gatekeeper") is hardly a useful model when the rubber meets the road.
(Or perhaps the psych patients in the UK are better-mannered than some of ours.)
By the way, that facility's theory was (and perhaps still is, I don't know since I quit after that shift when they inappropriately blamed the injured nurse for this attack) that it "bothered them" to have these patients on high doses of psychotropics, so they were using minimal doses, or none at all. (Of course, these decison-makers were not around to put out the fires their policy caused. Surprise!)