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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?

Abstract

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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