3. Patient Consent and Benefit-Risk

Consent by the patient prior to the radiographic procedure can be either expressed or implied. When the radiographer enters the patient’s room, the radiographer/ radiologic technologist will introduce themselves to the patient and explain the x-ray examination to be performed. The radiographer/ radiologic technologist shall explain the benefit-risk of the x-ray exam to the patient to ensure informed consent is obtained prior to the examination. This is now a legal requirement in some jurisdictions such as the EU, where the European Commission Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom states “that the patient or their representative is provided with adequate information relating to the benefits and risks associated with the radiation dose from the medical exposure.” (p. 26).  Adequate information relating to communication between the radiographer / radiologic technologist and the patient is vital to obtain cooperation and essential for proper patient care. 

Communication is obligatory even if the patient appears to be unconscious or unresponsive. (Long, Rollins, & Smith, 1949/2016). Consent must be obtained from the patient or a legal representative of the patient before any medical procedure can be performed. (Pozgar, 2016) This is especially true concerning mobile CXR, where the patient must be moved/touched to place the image receptor. It must be noted that the patient reserves the right to refuse the x-ray examination.