Could someone use an RMI on a murder?

I was wondering. RMI machines have some really powerful magnets. Amazingly powerful ones. Could someone set up a RMI machine so it would actually kill the patient lying inside? Of course, one could drop the machine over the patient… But could someone who is fit to do an RMI actually die on a mishandled machine?


Sure, you could release a steel gas cylinder near the opening when someone was inside of the machine.

Here’s another video showing a variety of metal objects interacting with an MRI. Simply tossing a few pounds of magnetic material (a gas cylinder, a chair, a claw hammer) towards the machine will likely severely injure or kill the occupant.

IIRC, a supervillain once tried to use an MRI to kill James Bond. Die Another Day, I think?

How about coating neodymiummagnets in gelatin so that they look like medication, and have the victim swallow these a few hours before the MRI? It might be even eviler and less readily detected to have him ingest encapsulated coarse iron filings.

Found this older threadabout MRI hazards, you might find it helpful.

While everyone I know who’s used one loathes it, I’ve never heard that one of these can actually be fatal:

Rather, they just make you wish you were dead.

A variation of this turns out to be the murder weapon in one of Joseph Wambaugh’s novels as well. The villain (who isn’t, exactly - he’s just after a Nobel Prize… really) lures the victim into a cyclotron room and powers it up, frying his pacemaker and killing him without leaving a mark.

The solution turns on a comment from a Cal Tech physicist to the protagonist cop, who takes several minutes to process the comment before bellowing, “WHAT BIG FUCKIN’ MAGNET?” :slight_smile:

It’s certainly possible that someone can die because of the MRI machine’s magnetic field. But I’m quite sure that standard precautions make that risk minimal.