WHO unveils policy document on ethical medical imaging

By AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writers

April 18, 2022 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a policy document on medical imaging that focuses on the ethical responsibility to protect patients from harmful radiation effects and expands on two basic principles: appropriate imaging and optimizing radiation protection.

The brief is particularly needed now, as the use of imaging in medicine has increased over the past three decades, WHO Director of its Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, Dr. Maria Neira, said in a statement released by the organization.

"The optimal balance between radiation benefits and risks must be ensured," she said. "Whenever radiological imaging procedures are proposed, only necessary examinations should be performed, and patients should know they can expect appropriate, timely, and safe services."

The brief was written primarily for clinicians who are requesting imaging and those who provide imaging services, but the WHO hopes it will also offer support to patients for making good healthcare decisions. The aim is to spark an overdue cultural change imaging and boost patient-centered healthcare delivery and safety, according to Neira.

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