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8 Risk 373 (1997)
Time Enough - Consequences of Human Microchip Implantation

handle is hein.journals/risk8 and id is 383 raw text is: Time Enough? Consequences of Human
Microchip Implantation
Elaine M. Ramesh*
Introduction
Sophisticated microchip devices are available for identifying stray
animals. Implants about the size of a grain of rice have been a great
boon for owners with lost or stolen pets. One distributor of chips has
reported that it has already implanted over six million.1 A pet owner
can be assured that the chances of recovering a lost animal are greatly
increased. At the pound, a stray can quickly be scanned, and, if it has a
microchip, the animal's owner can be identified.
Is it not then conceivable that this technology might be applied to
humans? Indeed, such predictions have already been made. For
example, Alan Westin discussed the possibility of permanent
implacements of 'tagging' devices on or in the body as early as
1967.2 If the technology were extended to humans, a myriad of
identification-related applications could be envisaged such as the
capability to find lost children or confused Alzheimer's patients, or to
Dr. Ramesh is an attorney in the Patent and Licensing Department of Nalco
Chemical Co., Naperville, IL. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry, State University of
NY-Buffalo; a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Texas A&M University and a J.D., Chicago-Kent
College of Law. She thanks Professor Lori Andrews for assistance.
1   The device is easily implanted by means of injection through a needle, into the
shoulder of the animal. A hand-held or pass-by scanner is used to check the animal for
the presence of the microchip. Richard Louv, Walking Around With A Chip in its
Shoulder, The San Diego Union-Trib., June 15, 1994, at A-2.
2   The author also stated that [elxisting microminiaturized transmitters the size of
a pinhead might be coded with an identification number, enclosed in a permanent
capsule, and implanted under the skin by a simple and painless surgical operation.
Once in place, this tag would do no damage to the body, but when 'interrogated'
electronically by an outside beam, it would emit an identifying number. Alan F.
Westin, Privacy and Freedom 86 (1967). However, proving that old adage that there
is nothing new under the sun, the concept may be attributed to far earlier authors. The
Book of Revelation of the Bible contains the following statement: He also forced
everyone, small and great, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so
that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or
the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17. That mark could well be the
microchip implant.

8 Risk. Health, Safety & Environment 373 [Fall 1997]

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