Informed consent in the nuclear medicine setting

J Nucl Med Technol. 2011 Mar;39(1):1-4. doi: 10.2967/jnmt.110.083931. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


In the nuclear medicine setting, the task of obtaining informed consent for procedures that require it is frequently left to the nuclear medicine technologist. Unfortunately, a patient's signature on a consent form does not mean the patient has given informed consent, or what legal scholars call valid consent. On completion of this scholarly bioethics article, the reader will understand the troubled history that led to informed consent as social and regulatory policy. Additionally, the reader will discover the meaning of "informed consent," which includes 3 critical components: disclosure, decision-making capacity, and voluntariness. Finally, this article will discuss which nuclear medicine procedures require informed consent, how to assess whether patients have given informed consent, what to do when the patient refuses a procedure, and what to do when informed consent is unachievable.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Disclosure
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent* / ethics
  • Mental Competency
  • Nuclear Medicine* / ethics
  • Nuclear Medicine* / legislation & jurisprudence