Saturday, May 31, 2008

The elephant lives, part 400

In response to a report on the safety of MRI scanners, in today’s Daily Telegraph we get a letter from Andrew Jones, Chairman, MR Safety Working Party of the British Institute of Radiology.

Under the heading, "MRI scanners are safe", he writes:

Sir - The proposed research into the use of MRI scanners (report, May 22) is intended to collect hard evidence that they present no health risks. There is certainly no evidence that they have any harmful effects.

Indeed MRI is a very powerful diagnostic tool, which has been instrumental in pinpointing the need for treatment for very many patients.

It would be sad if unfounded concerns among patients or even healthcare staff undermined clinical services of patient care.
What he does not say (or is not allowed to) is that the research has been commissioned for the sole purpose of seeing off an insane and potentially lethal EU law, the Physical Agents (Electromagnetic Fields) Directive, which would – had it not been stopped at the eleventh hour - have made illegal some 30 percent of scans, needlessly endangering the health of thousands of British patients, many of them children.

Thus, we wrote on 22 May, does the elephant live, this time costing an unknown sum and hundreds of hours of fruitless work, simply because the EU commission failed to do its homework before introducing totally unnecessary legislation and now needs to save face.

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