Informing about mammographic screening: Ethical challenges and suggested solutions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBioethics. 2019, 1-10. 10.1111/bioe.12676
Providing high quality and user oriented information about mammographic screening is no easy task, as screening has been subject to heated professional and public debates. Although the information has to be developed and provided in context for each screening program, the basic challenges are very much the same for all programs. Accordingly, the objective of this article is to analyze key ethical challenges in informing about mammographic screening, and based on these, to suggest some guiding principles for practical solutions. A literature review identifies five crucial issues with respect to informing women about mammographic screening. By analyzing and addressing these issues, five guiding principles are suggested: the content and the form of information should be developed through open and transparent processes with strong stakeholder involvement. Facts should be presented in a balanced way and uncertainties should be acknowledged, e.g., by presenting outcomes in ranges. Information should be layered without attempts to frame information. Attending mammographic screening should be as easy as not attending. Although apparently trivial, the suggested principles can be useful for elaborating specific information material about mammographic screening in a field of great ethical controversy.