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Problems of transparent medical risk communication using the example of mammography screening

Christof Breitsameter


The specific requirements of risk-laden decision situations pose an increasing challenge to medical ethics to establish normative risk communication models. Providing information about probabilities with which certain events will occur, however, is but one part of the ‘deal’. Medical education also means that risks are communicated in an understandable manner. Otherwise, the patient would indeed have information available but he or she would not be able to interpret and evaluate it correctly. Using the example of mammography screenings, this article describes problems of transparent medical risk communication and attempts to answer the question of how these difficulties may be overcome.

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