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Int J Legal Med. 2014 Mar;128(2):323-8. doi: 10.1007/s00414-013-0831-x. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Consent to forensic radiologic examinations by living crime victims.

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  • 1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical-Forensic Imaging, Universit√§tsplatz 4/II, 8010, Graz, Austria,


The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate whether people approve radiological examinations specifically for the documentation of findings for the use in criminal proceedings. Forty two crime victims and 42 controls without a history of sustained violence were asked via telephone interview whether they would agree to forensic radiological examinations and if radiation exposure and the duration of the examination were factors influencing their consent. The consent to specifically forensic radiological examinations was high in both groups, however, higher in victims than in controls (85-96% compared to 64-77%, respectively, depending on the imaging modality). All of the victims and 93% of the controls consented to at least one of the proposed imaging modalities, i.e. X-ray, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Most of the interviewees did not consider the duration of the examination to be relevant to their consent (79% of the crime victims and 93% of the controls); however, the radiation exposure associated with the examination was relevant for 55% of the controls but only for 19% of the victims. These results show that there is a great consent to the application of radiological methods for forensic purposes. This is important for the growing field of forensic radiology as the approval of the examination by the victim is a legal prerequisite.

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