Informed consent for stochastic effects of ionising radiation in diagnostic imaging  

Informed consent for stochastic effects of ionising radiation in diagnostic imaging
Commentary
Richard Mendelson
British Journal of Radiology, 24 February 2022
Abstract
The ethical and legal principles underpinning the requirement for informed consent for medical procedures are widely accepted. A recent BJR article has applied these principles to the issue of consent to ionising radiation (IR) from diagnostic imaging (DI), but the authors chose to put aside the practical problems associated with this. These problems should not be underestimated and arise from: uncertainties about the existence and magnitude of risk of stochastic effects of IR exposure in DI; the delayed manifestation of its effects; the heterogeneity of risk related to factors associated with individual sensitivity to IR, and dose variation even within examination classes and across clinical indications; and the difficulty of communication of these uncertainties and variations to patients. This article discusses these practical issues associated with consent for IR in DI.

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