Is implanting microchips in human beings for medical reasons ethical?

by laurencetremblay on November 11, 2014 - 10:39pm

 

The article “ American medical Association boards implantable chips wagon by wayne Kondro in 2007 is about the issue of people potentially implanting micro chips in human beings for medical reasons. In 2007, the American Medical Association thought discussed the possibility of implanting such chips in human beings. Chips are already used at Toronto’s St. Michael’s hospital, they are taped to newly borns to track their location in the hospital. But implanting chips inside one’s body raises more issues than just taping it to the skin, throughout the articles, positive outcomes are discussed such as the most important one, the chips could store a person’t medical record which would be easily accessible in cases of emergency where it could save someone’s life, but also considerate negative effects of the chips like the fact that they could be hacked and people would not have any privacy. Moreover, since the chips are very small they could move into one’s body and could cause dangerous complications. This issue raises the ethical question: It is ethical for the American Medical Association to legalize the implantation of microchips into human beings for medical medical motives? Moreover, the issue also raises more general ethical questions like: Is implanting microchips into human bodies is ethical? or Is implanting microchips on babies ethical even for medical reasons? If so, would the parents have the choice of saying yes or no?

 

Kondro, Wayne. "American Medical Association Boards Implantable Chip Wagon." CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal Supplement 177.4 (2007): 331-332. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

 

 

 

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Comments

This is a very thought provoking topic. Personally, I was not aware that microchips were being placed in newborns. I think that is very interesting and advanced. My girlfriend is a nurse and she’s told me how serious it is to protect newborns in the hospital. In her hospital, the child has a band placed around their wrist or ankle at birth which will lock down all of the doors and sound the alarm if the infant leaves before proper checkout. Unfortunatley, that system is not entirely secure. There have been situations (in other U.S. hospitals) where people have dressed as nurses, cut off the band, and tried to kidnap the newborn infant. A microchip system would seem to effectively increase the safety of the infant in the nursery.
You also bring up the possibility of a microchip being able to store medical record information. My family has shared stories with me of people that travel to various clinics or hospitals seeking narcotics and other prescription drugs. Because there is not a good communication between the medical records of these different facilities, they are able to work the system and get overprescribed certain medications that they then abuse or sell on the street. If everyone had a microchip, they could potentially reduce the amount of people that are working the system. If the chip is poorly secured, however, there is the possibility of people hacking the chip and erasing data. More importantly, that could create one continuous medical record. If there was one database that had all of our health information, not only could we reference it for our own information, we could easily tell doctors our medical history. As you mentioned, I imagine this would be really convenient and helpful in the case of emergency.

I believe that this is a very interesting topic to be discussed. Before reading your article, I did not know that this kind of practice existed. Now that I am aware of it, I believe that implanting microchips into human can be a good idea. I think that it can lead to more positive outcomes for humans than negative ones. As you said, these chips contain database able to identify the patient and her/his health records. That is said, it enables caregivers to access the history of the patient which, in case of emergency, could give the treatment needs easily. Therefore, it could save’s someone life. Since it can save lives, I believe that implanting microchips into humans for medical purpose is right. I hold my point of view on the principle of utility found in the Act Utilitarianism theory. This principle is applied directly to each alternative act in a situation of choice. It tells us that our overall aim in evaluating actions should be to create the greatest happiness, and least pain, in each case, considering all who are affected by that action. In other words, morality is about making the world as happy as possible. The effects of implanting microchips could lead to save lives. Since almost everyone can tell that human’s death can cause sadness, it is obvious to say that saving lives create more happiness than pain. That is said, from the act utilitarian viewpoint there are strong reason’s for thinking that implanting microchips in humans is ethical. Take a look at this link if you agree with my point of view supported by Act Utilitarianism and wish to find out more on this theory. This website takes a look at the theory in general and its principles. I found this source pretty interesting because it provides several pros and cons of the theory and enables the reader to support their arguments.
Here is the link, take a look:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/util-a-r/#H3

As we make new scientific discoveries, we also run into ethics issues. Your post perfectly summarizes the provoking questions we face when talking about implanting microchips in human beings. With the fast pace progress we are experiencing in the medical field, it is important to address these issues. Also, since you used the an article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, I can trust the content of your post seeing that you used a reliable source.
As a final point, as new discoveries are made, new ethical issues arise. By answering the questions ensued, we will be able to use scientific innovations to their full potential.

I am truly fascinated with the concept of a mini computer being somewhere inside me recording everything that I do. Personally I wasn't aware of anyone doing this but the medical advances that could potentially happen if there was a universal implementation of the device and depending how advanced the technology going into these microchips, it could potentially improve emergency response time or warn the individual of a potential health emergency. It's reassuring to see that science and technology are still being used to help people and not simply a tool for blowing each other up.