AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 2007, Volume 9, Number 11.

Ethics Poll

Questions in Diagnostic Radiology

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

In conventional practice, radiologists report their findings to the referring physician who, in turn, informs the patient of the results and their implications. Patients should be given the option of speaking directly with the radiologist, and radiologists should be available to talk to patients.
A cancerous tumor for which you have been successfully treated was visible as a lesion on an X-ray taken six months before you were actually diagnosed. Which of the following best describes how you would want your physician to handle this information?
If physicians have financial or business interests in diagnostic imaging facilities, the temptation to request studies that may be optional or not entirely necessary is just too great. Therefore, it should be illegal for physicians who are not diagnostic radiologists to have any financial or business interests whatsoever in imaging facilities.
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.