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Exploring Ethics: If Researchers Find A Tumor, Should They Tell You?

If Researchers Find A Tumor, Should They Tell You?

Speaker

Dr. Kathryn Fowler, M.D., Associate Professor Of Clinical, Radiology at UC San Diego

Overview

Research imaging studies, including MRI and CT scans, may provide different information than the imaging performed for clinical care. For instance, a liver MRI using research sequences could be more sensitive at detecting tumors than a standard study. As a result, a patient might no longer qualify for surgery according to the research study. However, information derived from research sequences may not be clinically accurate. Hence the need to conduct a thorough investigation and compare against a gold standard (e.g. a surgical result). Should patients and physicians be made aware of research results if they are not verifiably accurate?

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Promotional photo of brain scans. Courtesy of The Center ...

Above: Promotional photo of brain scans. Courtesy of The Center for Ethics in Science and Technology.

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