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Does radiation medicine need more regulation or simply better-coordinated regulation? This book addresses this and other questions of critical importance to public health and safety. The issues involved are high on the nation's agenda: the impact of radiation on public safety, the balance between federal and state authority, and the cost-benefit ratio of regulation. Although incidents of misadministration are rare, a case in Pennsylvania resulting in the death of a patient and the inadvertent exposure of others to a high dose of radiation drew attention to issues concerning the regulation of ionizing radiation in medicine and the need to examine current regulatory practices. Written at the request from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Radiation in Medicine reviews the regulation of ionizing radiation in medicine, focusing on the NRC's Medical Use Program, which governs the use of reactor-generated byproduct materials. The committee recommends immediate action on enforcement and provides longer term proposals for reform of the regulatory system. The volume covers

  • Sources of radiation and their use in medicine.
  • Levels of risk to patients, workers, and the public.
  • Current roles of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, other federal agencies, and states.
  • Criticisms from the regulated community.
The committee explores alternative regulatory structures for radiation medicine and explains the rationale for the option it recommends in this volume. Based on extensive research, input from the regulated community, and the collaborative efforts of experts from a range of disciplines, Radiation in Medicine will be an important resource for federal and state policymakers and regulators, health professionals involved in radiation treatment, developers and producers of radiation equipment, insurance providers, and concerned laypersons.