It has come to my attention that something deeply wrong has occurred according to a law suit in the USA. People who know me well will know that I am not the most exactly the most antiradiation person in the world, but I do hold the view that the reckless exposure of people to radiation is wrong and should be punished by criminal law.
For example the East German authorities years ago are strongly suspected of having used radiation for a series of nefarious purposes, such as inducing cancer in political prisoners. Those responsible should go to jail for murder or GBH.
In the USA according to the lawsuit the police in one area are accused of making unreasonable searches of people and subjecting them to X-ray examinations which include the high dose CT scans. The most perverted part of it is that bills are being sent to the victims of this police misconduct for these examinations. It reminds me of an ancient jewish folk tale about Sodom and Gomorrah, some of the oldest jewish texts on the subject of these two cities state that their crimes are not sexual in nature. Instead it was the cruelty and vile crimes against strangers which were the reason why these two cities had to go. Lot and Abraham left before a prehistoric version of a naplam airstrike occured.
One story was that Eliezer, Abraham’s servant went to visit Lot. He got into a dispute with one of the local men who hit him with a stone making him bleed. He was then told he would have to pay his attacker for the service of making him bleed (doctors at this time would do bloodletting), then one of the judges of the city (whose job it was to pervert the law) agreed that he would have to pay his attacker. What happened next was that Eliezer hit the judge in the head and told him to settle both debts by paying his original attacker.
Here in the US case I see a similar attempt to force a victim of a crime to pay for the “service” of the criminal.
While some people might consider it immoral let us for argument’s sake consider how much a human life is worth in terms of money. One 1977 paper from the UK considers the value of a life, the lower estimate was £50 while the upper estimate was £20000000. The lower value is from a view of the value of a unborn child, which I think is too low a value while the higher value is from a study of building codes (Ronan point).
Now using US data on inflation this £ 20000000 would now be worth 77.28 million UK pounds.
Now the dose from a CT scan of the lower torso gives you a dose of 10 mSv, which is half my yearly limit as a radiation worker.
If we use the normal 5 % chance of cancer as a result of 1 Sv of radiation then the court ordered CAT scan will have a small chance of killing the person (1 in 2000). If we assume that all cancers are fatal then we can make the next step.
If we multiply the chance of killing the person with 77.28 million pounds we get a number of £ 38640, which according to the current exchange rate (1.61 US$ per UK£) gives a sum of 62210.4 US$.
I think in this case that the RICO act can apply which allows triple damages to be awarded which brings the radiological aspect to $ 186631.2. Now I think that compared with the other aspects of the unreasonable search that this amount of money is a small amount. But the criminal law side of the event could (and should) get very nasty for the police.
While I think that members of the public who might be exposed as a result of radiological accidents should enjoy the protection of criminal law. But in the case of an accidental exposure the mens rea (guilty mind or intent) to deliberately perform an act which exposes another person to radiation is not present. While a person might be careless or lazy and thus expose the public to radiation, due to the lack of intent to expose others to radiation the person should be pubished more lightly than a person who chooses to expose others. It is similar to my mind to the distinction between murder and manslaughter.
In this case the mens rea falls short of the extreme level of depraved indifference to human life which would be needed in a professional radiation worker who chooses to spike a child’s breakfast with large amounts (mCi amounts of calcium-45) of radioactivity. Trust me experiments with radioactive breakfasts have been done but with about far less radioactivity (microCi range doses of calcium-45, one mCi = 1000 microCi).
I think that a suitable rod for these policemen’s backs could be radiation law. This is because the X-ray examination is clearly not in the best medical interests of the person, and as they have not freely agreed to undergo this exposure then the law should regard is as compelled radiation work.
Having a knowledge of radiation work I would say that if we declare the motorist to be an involuntary radiation worker then I suspect that a vast litany of violations of radiation law have occurred. For example no preexposure medical assessment has been made of the person’s fitness to be a radiation worker has occurred. I reason that both the police and the hospital should be considered as possible targets for prosecution.
I also think that if the medical staff of the hospital were aware that the person was being scanned against their will (no free consent) then they should be struck off from their professional bodies and thus no longer be allowed to practise their profession. This might seem harsh but I hold the view that a strong argument exists for using extreme punishments to discourage radiological assaults.