Ethical Foundations of the System of Radiological Protection

Draft document: Ethical Foundations of the System of Radiological Protection
Submitted by Dr. Pradip Chaudhari, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Reseach and Education in Cancer (ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre
Commenting as an individual

General comments

Compliments to all experts in radiological protection for coming up with such an important in-depth document after so many years of medical usage of radiation. Ethical judgement is important in many clinical and no-clinical dilemmas.  This document is well written and provide useful information on genesis of concept of radiaton protection and its further maturity.

I would like to suggest following point.

There is a surge in use of ionizing radiations for veterinary purpose in recent past and which mainly includes diagnostic, therapeutic, and research using radioactive drugs and devices. The licenses for these purposes usually are issued for the treatment of domestic pets and non-food animals. Just to give an example present days, even radioiodine treatment for feline hyperthyroidism is being practiced in many countries. The pet animals with spontaneous cancers are used as disease model and their role in radiopharmaceutical (diagnostic as well as therapeutic) development is well accepted. Hence there is a need to include veterinary applications and formulate ethical guidelines for this purpose. Similar to the Hippocratic Oath for human physicians, veterinary physicians take the Veterinarian''s Oath to use their skills and knowledge for the benefit of animal health, animal welfare, public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. Hence radiation protection philosophy also applies to veterinary field, many pet parents stay with their pets and also get exposed to radiation while undergoing radioisotopic and radiology procedures. Considering the societal changes and approaches towards pets and advancement in veterinary medicine in today’s world, there is a need of strong ethical foundation while dealing with these animal patients. I agree with views expressed by Dr. Lajos Balogh.