Ethics dilemma: How much should patients be told if medical tests turn up something unrelated? - InfoNews

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Ethics dilemma: How much should patients be told if medical tests turn up something unrelated?

December 12, 2013 - 12:17 PM

WASHINGTON - It's a growing side effect of modern medicine: A test for one condition turns up something completely unrelated that could be a threat — or could be a false alarm.

These so-called incidental findings tell people more than they bargained for, things they might not need or want to know.

A presidential advisory council says it's time to be more up-front about that risk with patients before their next X-ray or gene test turns up a disturbing surprise.

It may seem obvious that you'll be told if your doctor orders X-rays for a broken rib and signs of cancer show up.

But Thursday's report says that not every medical condition that can be found, should be — and there's conflicting advice about how to disclose and manage incidental findings.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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