Patient images are used for many purposes in medical practice. They are placed in the medical record as an adjunct to clinical care, displayed to colleagues, students and other audiences in educational settings, and published in medical journals or other media as part of medical research. In each case it is not only prudent, but necessary for the patients' protection and interest that appropriate consent be obtained. While medical journals invariably require written consent for photographs that may identify the patient, the format of the photograph consent form is usually not specified, nor is it always clear which images require conset. With the proliferation of published images on the Internet it has become particularly important to obtain permission for all uses that will be made of medical images, including worldwide distribution through various electronic media.
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