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August 7, 1987

Medicine, Radiation, and Probability of Causation-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1987;258(5):610. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400050051014

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In Reply.—  Drs Rail and Yalow state correctly that Public Law 97-414 requires the development of the Radioepidemiological Tables without identification of how the tables should be used in lawsuits. That observation is exactly the concern addressed in the recommendations of the Council on Scientific Affairs. These recommendations do not propose revisions in the existing law. Instead, they counsel against possible misapplications of the tables. This counsel does not imply that groups to be exempted from application of the tables may be guilty of practices leading to a high probability of causation. Instead, it suggests that diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radiation, and the small exposures that accompany these applications, constitute conditions different from those providing most of the data for construction of the Radioepidemiological Tables.In medical procedures using radiation, the exposure usually is confined to a specific anatomic region and delivered under carefully controlled conditions. Furthermore, radiation is