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The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000

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Justification of Individual Medical Exposures

6.  (1)  No person shall carry out a medical exposure unless—

(a)it has been justified by the practitioner as showing a sufficient net benefit giving appropriate weight to the matters set out in paragraph (2); and

(b)it has been authorised by the practitioner or, where paragraph (5) applies, the operator; and

(c)in the case of a medical or biomedical exposure as referred to in regulation 3(d), it has been approved by a Local Research Ethics Committee; and

(d)in the case of an exposure falling within regulation 3(e), it complies with the employer’s procedures for such exposures; and

(e)in the case of a female of childbearing age, he has enquired whether she is pregnant or breastfeeding, if relevant.

(2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(a) are—

(a)the specific objectives of the exposure and the characteristics of the individual involved;

(b)the total potential diagnostic or therapeutic benefits, including the direct health benefits to the individual and the benefits to society, of the exposure;

(c)the individual detriment that the exposure may cause; and

(d)the efficacy, benefits and risk of available alternative techniques having the same objective but involving no or less exposure to ionising radiation.

(3) In considering the weight to be given to the matters referred to in paragraph (2), the practitioner justifying an exposure pursuant to paragraph (1)(a) shall pay special attention to—

(a)exposures on medico-legal grounds;

(b)exposures that have no direct health benefit for the individuals undergoing the exposure; and

(c)the urgency of the exposure, where appropriate, in cases involving—

(i)a female where pregnancy cannot be excluded, in particular if abdominal and pelvic regions are involved, taking into account the exposure of both the expectant mother and the unborn child; and

(ii)a female who is breastfeeding and who undergoes a nuclear medicine exposure, taking into account the exposure of both the female and the child.

(4) In deciding whether to justify an exposure under paragraph (1)(a) the practitioner shall take account of any data supplied by the referrer pursuant to regulation 5(5) and shall consider such data in order to avoid unnecessary exposure.

(5) Where it is not practicable for the practitioner to authorise an exposure as required by paragraph (1)(b), the operator shall do so in accordance with guidelines issued by the practitioner.

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