The A.M.A. Gets Under Your Skin
NY Times | June 28, 2007
Barnaby J. Feder
On Monday, the delegates to the annual meeting in Chicago of the American Medical Association endorsed what could only be described as a cautious committee report on the role of implanted radio identification tags in patient care. The three recommendations were that doctors make sure that they get informed consent from patients before using such tags, they they not program any medical information into them without making sure it would be as secure as normal medical records, and that they support research into uses of the devices.
Most notably, the report said that the devices had not been proven safe and effective. You would never know that though from the press release issued today by VeriChip, the Delray Beach, Fla., producer of a rice grain-sized radio tag implanted in the arm that allows doctors to link patients to their medical records.
VeriChip said that the A.M.A. release would “enhance its marketing efforts.”
The doctors apparently don't see eye-to-eye on the safety issue with the Food and Drug Administration, which gave VeriChip clearance to market its tag in 2004–undoubtedly the most controversial application to date of RFID technology. That approval has not generated significant medical sales for the device yet.
The device, as we all know, has attracted fierce opposition from privacy advocates.
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