Sign the Alliance for MRI Petition to safeguard the future of MRI in Europe.
ESMRMB is a supporting member of the Alliance for MRI, a coalition of European Parliamentarians, patient groups, leading European scientists and the medical community, who together are seeking to avert the serious threat posed by EU health and safety legislation to the clinical and research use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The Alliance was launched on the occasion of ECR 2007.
Click here to sign the Alliance for MRI Petition directed to the European institutions, national governments and parliaments as well as any other decision-making bodies in that field. Its goal is to endorse the position of the Alliance for MRI with regard to the EU Physical Agents 2004/40/EC (EMF) Directive in order to safeguard the future use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in clinical and research applications.
In 2004, the European Union adopted the EU Physical Agents 2004/40/EC (EMF) Directive to reduce adverse health effects on workers (such as dizziness) linked to short-term exposure to electro-magnetic fields.
The European Commission’s original impact assessment (which was ten years old) did not cover the social and economic consequences of legislating in this area. As a result, the impact on the use of MRI, while unintended, has serious consequences for healthcare provision and patient welfare. It threatens clinical and research use of MRI.
It will make it more difficult for healthcare staff to care for patients, such as children, the elderly or those who are anaesthetized, who need help or comfort during scans. Some of these patients may be forced to use technologies with significant proven health risks, such as X-Rays or CT scanners. It will stop the use of MRI for interventional and surgical procedures. It will curtail cutting edge research in the field of MRI, denying patients innovative treatments in the future.
The Alliance for MRI therefore requests an EU-wide exemption for medical use of MRI and related research from any exposure limit values set in the Physical Agents 2004/40/EC (EMF) Directive and the implementation of user guidelines.
The EMF Directive, with an original implementation date in 2008, has been postponed for four years, until April 2012. Due to recent developments the implementation deadline has since been postponed for another 18 months. The reason for postponing the implementation deadline of the EMF Directive until October 2013 is a proposal put forward by the European Commission as a result of the Alliance for MRI’s strong efforts to obtain a derogation for MRI. In June 2011, the Commission published a proposal to include a derogation for MRI technology, which was highly welcomed by the Alliance.
However, many Member States within the Council are opposed to the derogation for MRI and the Members of the European Parliament tend to vote according to their Member State’s position.
Therefore it is vital is vital to make decision-makers understand the importance of supporting the Commission’s proposal, which is based on sound scientific evidence, and for the sake of patient welfare they should not allow it to be compromised.
All members of the ESMRMB are encouraged to support the Alliance by arranging high-level meetings at national ministries of social affairs and health, as well as contacting MEPs in the relevant committees in order to support the EC proposal for a derogation of MRI from the limit values set in the EMF Directive. Background documents, template letters and guidance are available from the Alliance Secretariat.
For more information, please visit www.alliance-for-mri.org
The safe use of the technology is already regulated for. The established MR safety standard IEC/EN 60601-2-33 (as amended and harmonised under the Medical Devices Directive) establishes limit values for time-varying electromagnetic fields which have been set so that any danger to patients and workers is excluded.
The Alliance for MRI supports the adoption of guidelines to support the safety standard as these allow for the incorporation of changes to ensure working practices are in line with technological developments.