Chip Me-Please!

Don Tennant

My understanding is that the Obama Health Care Plan includes a provision that calls for coverage of RFID chip implants with patient identification and health information. All I can say is I'd be the first person in line for an implant.


I experienced a medical emergency Saturday night that galvanized my belief in the merits of chip implants. Around midnight I was working barefoot in my garage, doing some much-needed spring cleaning. We have a window in the garage over some metal shelving units that are about six feet high. I was determined to clean the window, so my plan was to stand with one foot on a stepladder and the other foot on the window sill, straddling the shelves.


It was working just fine until I lost my balance and came crashing down over the shelves and hit the cement floor, with my bare right heel taking the full brunt of the impact. I remember lying on the floor somewhat stunned and knowing that my heel was in bad shape, and that the rest of me wasn't doing so great, either. My son Dan was the only other person at home at the time, and he was upstairs in his bedroom. Fortunately I had my iPhone in my pocket, so I called him and he rushed down and called 911.


An ambulance and fire truck arrived within a few minutes (I'm still not sure what was up with the fire truck, unless they were concerned that anybody peculiar enough to injure himself the way I did might also set something on fire). As they were lifting me onto a stretcher, one of the EMT guys asked me for my full name and date of birth. He wrote my responses on one of the rubber gloves he was wearing, which I thought was quite resourceful.


Then they loaded me into the ambulance and whisked me away to the nearby hospital. As I lay in a state of delirium in the ambulance, a different EMT guy asked me for my full name and date of birth. I dutifully responded.


When we arrived at the emergency room, I was wheeled into an examination room where a nurse asked for my full name and date of birth. I dutifully responded again. She was just doing her job, and she had enough to deal with. My left foot was bloodied from its contact with the metal shelves on the way down, and she had the hardest time understanding that it was actually my right foot that was the problem.


After about 20 minutes, an intern came in to examine my right foot, accompanied by a different nurse who asked for my full name and date of birth. She also asked about allergies and whether I was on any medication. I dutifully responded. By now the shock had subsided and I was feeling the pain, so the questions were getting a bit tiresome.


About an hour and a half later they finally wheeled me to x-ray, where the technician asked for my full name and date of birth. I'm not making this up. I kept my cool and responded, not wanting to come across as some crotchety old guy who should have been in bed rather than cleaning his garage.


They wheeled me back to the examination room, where I learned that there had been a shift change. I had a new nurse who asked me for my full name, date of birth, and whether I'd ever been hospitalized there before. She promised she would get me some morphine for the pain, so I wanted to stay on her good side. I dutifully responded.


About an hour later they decided they needed a few more views of my heel, so they wheeled me back to x-ray, where a different x-ray technician asked for my full name and date of birth. It was shortly after that, when the nausea from the morphine was at its crescendo, that they decided they needed a cat scan of my foot. So I was taken to the big cat scan machine, where the cat scan operator asked for my full name and date of birth.


Eventually I was seen by a physician who informed me that I had broken my heel (no kidding, doc), and by an orthopedic specialist who put my right foot and leg in a splint cast up to my knee. I was released at about 9:30 Sunday morning.


It might seem like a little thing, but when you're dealing with things like intense pain and nausea, having to repeatedly provide your personal identification information, along with various other bits of medical data, is extraordinarily bothersome. If only I had had a microchip the size of a grain of rice implanted somewhere on my body that would have prevented all that. What a godsend that would have been.


And yes, in case you're wondering, the iPhone I used to call my son is the one I wrote about regretting having bought ("Why I Regret Buying an iPhone"). It survived the fall, and I'm grateful I had it on me. I'm thankful I bought my iPhone. There. I said it.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 17, 2010 11:38 AM jbeens jbeens  says:

until the day comes where people will be able to remotely hack into your chip in you and steal your information.  Yup... I am sorry, but the more technology is advanced, the more I feel that I wish I lived during more simpler times when we didn't worry about every little thing in life, when we were not pansies and were taught to be stronger when we had to endure pain.  Yes,  technology has its attributes and makes life easier in many ways.  However, I have had my personal identification and credit card info, and bank hacked to many times with all the "new" and "safer" technology that has come out that I have come to the conclusion that sometimes... newer is not always better or safer.  Easier... maybe yes for those who are savvy; quicker and more efficient... sometimes yes, I suppose if the system doesn't break down; more organized and up to date... possibly so.  However, safer... I beg to differ.  In fact, what if everything was electronic and something happened (like a solar storm or power surge) that deemed all electronics temporarily useless at a time that a natural disaster, unnatural disaster, or foreign attack occurs during a time where there is people hurt and these bio-chips have no use... I am sorry, but I think that it is a stupid idea.... not to mention the health factors of it.  We are already in research mode of how cell phones may be hazardous to your health.  Anytime we work with electronic devices that emit signals that are close to or intact with the body, you have to keep in mind the effects both short term and long term that these electronics have on the human body.  Also, to what extent can these chips be used outside of what it is being proposed for.  Now a person may argue that if the government says it is safe, then it should be fine.  But if we look at our present state of government and the amount of corruption in it as well as the influx of recent crimes through the use of electronic hacking... I am sorry, but until people become more God-fearing people who live by the Ten Commandments saying... thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, and thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods, I will stick with my old fashioned way of doing things... besides, it keeps more people employed and it allows an actual paper trail that can be followed to hold people accountable if mistakes are made in the system instead of allowing people to attempt to delete with the push of a button the actions that were made.

Jun 19, 2010 2:52 PM kharen michelle gultiano kharen michelle gultiano  says:

Ohhh, this is really real...

Jun 23, 2010 12:44 PM Greer Greer  says:

Their intent was to determine your level of responsiveness.  To see how Alert and Oriented you were.  A&O x ?  An implanted RFID is not relevant to your anecdote.

Jul 9, 2010 3:04 PM Dave R Dave R  says:

This is unbelievable.  To think that someone is this foolish.  First, he tells us that he was cleaning his garage barefoot and that he decides to climb a ladder to do more cleaning.  Did his parents ever teach him anything?  Obviously not common sense.  That sets the underlying tone of the article which is based on poor judgment and logic. 

Then he HAS to tell us he called his son on his iPhone.  Any normal person would simply say they had their cell phone and used it to call their son. But he has to make sure we're impressed that he's got an iPhone.  That's as bad as people who say they "dvr'd" a television program when the fact is they recorded it. Just because the technology changes a little doesn't mean the terminology changes.  People who have to say such things are so impressed with themselves they want everyone to know how cool they are because they own some certain device.

And without going into each and every ridiculous example I'll simply conclude that his idea that he wants an RFID chip implanted is absolutely to tops in foolishness.  No one in their right mind would want to be implanted with something that someone else could use to access information on them or use for locating purposes or anything else.  It's inside you!  You can't take it out!  What if it goes in today and everything's fine and someday someone terrible takes control of the technology (yes, it can even happen in America)?  Then you're under their control.  Wear a bracelet or something around your neck that has the information in it if it's that important to you.  Then you can always take it off and throw it out or destroy it if things got bad.  But to think that this guy would WANT to have something implanted like this is the biggest reason that he has no credibility with me.


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