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INTERNATIONAL ANGIOLOGY

A Journal on Angiology


Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2010 August;29(4):376-9

language: English

Ethical and legal aspects on the use of images and photographs in medical teaching and publication

Mavroforou A. 1, Antoniou G. 2, Giannoukas A. D. 2

1 Department of Medical Ethics and Deontology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece


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The aim of the study was to investigate the legal and ethical concerns raised from the use of photographs and images in medical publication. A search in the pertinent literature was performed. It is of paramount importance that the patient’s autonomy, privacy and confidentiality is respected. In all cases in which photographs and images contain identifiable information patient’s consent for any potential use of this material is mandatory. Patients should be aware that with the evolution of electronic publication, once an image is published, there is no efficient control of its future misuse. Physicians and hospitals have a duty to use with confidentiality any material kept in the patient’s medical records. Efforts should be made to anonymised images and photographs used in teaching and publication so that such information does not raise ethical and legal concerns. The procedures for using photographs and images in medical publication and teaching should respect the ethical principles and contain only anonymous information to avoid legal consequences. Continuous scrutiny and reform is required in order to adapt to the changing social and scientific environment.

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giannouk@med.uth.gr