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Am J Bioeth. 2008 Aug;8(8):44-8. doi: 10.1080/15265160802317966.

Ethical implications of implantable radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags in humans.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 240 Skirkanich Hall, 210 S. 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6392, USA.


This article reviews the use of implantable radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags in humans, focusing on the VeriChip (VeriChip Corporation, Delray Beach, FL) and the associated VeriMed patient identification system. In addition, various nonmedical applications for implanted RFID tags in humans have been proposed. The technology offers important health and nonhealth benefits, but raises ethical concerns, including privacy and the potential for coercive implantation of RFID tags in individuals. A national discussion is needed to identify the limits of acceptable use of implantable RFID tags in humans before their use becomes widespread and it becomes too late to prevent misuse of this useful but ethically problematic technology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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