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Radiol Med. 2009 Dec;114(8):1345-55. doi: 10.1007/s11547-009-0445-z. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Ethical problems in radiology: medical error and disclosure.

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Istituto di Medicina del Lavoro, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Agostino Gemelli 8, 00168, Roma, Italy.


In radiological practice, as in any medical activity, errors are inevitable despite being foreseeable and preventable. The approach to managing medical error and relations with patients prompt the need for resolving the ethical dilemma arising from conflicting legitimate interests. The solution to this dilemma is particularly complex in an environment in which the tendency to sue physicians for civil liability or incriminate them for criminal liability appears to be particularly high. The disclosure of error is undeniably useful in raising patient awareness, reducing their suffering, improving the quality of care and limiting the consequences of the damage. There does not appear to be any evidence to suggest disclosure modifies the probability of litigation against the physician.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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