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Medico-legal and ethical aspects of nasal fractures secondary to assault: do we owe a duty of care to advise patients to have a facial x-ray?
  1. Marie-Claire Jaberoo1,
  2. Jonathan Joseph1,
  3. Gillian Korgaonkar2,
  4. Kandappu Mylvaganam3,
  5. Ben Adams1,
  6. Malcolm Keene1
  1. 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, UK
  3. 3Clinical Ethics Committee, Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Marie-Claire Jaberoo, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3UJ, UK; mcjaberoo{at}


Guidelines advise that x-rays do not contribute to the clinical management of simple nasal fractures. However, in cases of simple nasal fracture secondary to assault, a facial x-ray may provide additional legal evidence should the victim wish to press charges, though there is no published guidance. We examine the ethical and medico-legal issues surrounding this controversial area.

  • Clinical Ethics
  • Criminal Law
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Legal Aspects
  • Radiology

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