Disclosure of Unknown Harms in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research
Accountability in research 2010 Mar ; 17(2): 67-78
Unknown harms are by their nature difficult to communicate. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has known risks (e.g., metal projectiles, dislodgement of medical implants), this imaging modality also has potential unknown long-term negative health effects associated with its static magnetic fields. We carried out a research ethics board (REB) file review of previously approved MRI research studies and found that unknown risks were either left undisclosed or were inadequately disclosed to research participants and REBs. This article outlines issues raised by our REB file review and suggests steps that should be taken in order to satisfactorily communicate information about potential unknown harms of MRI.
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