Pediatric Neuroimaging Ethics

Abstract

Neuroimaging has provided insight into numerous neurological disorders in children, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Many clinicians and investigators believe that neuroimaging holds great promise, especially in the areas of behavioral and cognitive disorders. However, concerns about the risks of various neuroimaging modalities and the potential for misinterpretation of imaging results are mounting. Imaging evaluations also raise questions about stigmatization, allocation of resources, and confidentiality. Children are particularly vulnerable in this milieu and require special attention with regards to safety guidelines and modality adaptations. This article examines pediatric neuroimaging practice through an ethics lens. Most authors in the field of neuroethics focus on the future concerns of neuroimaging. In contrast, our paper examines ethical matters surrounding current clinical applications in the pediatric population. We first provide a brief overview of the neuroimaging technologies most commonly used in a pediatric clinical context and then discuss a variety of ethical issues arising from the use of these technologies

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