A microchip implant is a device inserted into a living body, often for tracking and identification purposes. They are typically radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, which are inserted under the skin and are read with a RFID reader to access the information contained on the devices. While they're often used for animals, there have been some applications for humans as well. The act of implanting microchips in individuals for security and identification reasons is not a new phenomenon in the US, but something that has been there although at a low scale. For instance, the microchip implant was used during the Gulf war in august 1991; it has already been tested on soldiers, government officials and on the personnel of some enterprises (Elaine, 2006). There are law projects that passed through the American Congress and that will allow to inject the microchip implant to children from birth, under so-called “identification purposes”. Moreover, the president of the U.S.A., following article 100 of the 1986 law on control of immigration, has the power to decide any kind of identification measure that he finds necessary, including a subcutaneous microchip (Wiegner, 2004). This technology is steadily being embraced especially in health and security sectors for instance; more than 900 US hospitals have registered for a microchip-based patient identification system to more quickly identify patients admitted to emergency. In October 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of microchip implants in humans for medical purposes. In fact, American firemen, Mexican officials, Alzheimer patients, diabetics, bar patrons, employees, and others have been “chipped (Jon, 2006).
Microchip implant human – Advantages
The chip would convey fundamental information regarding the patient such as lactate, glucose and oxygen levels in the blood that will enable medical practitioners to take suitable treatment measures. Through this technology, Hospitals can gain access to medical history of a given patient in spite of location by scanning one’s implant chip. The speed at which this information can be attained may be vital to one’s survival. Also Human microchips could rid chronic illness sufferers from the need to visit hospital by sending simple data on their health to a doctor; this will make the exercise of constant monitoring of patients less tedious. Through the use of implanted microchips, diagnosis of patients who cannot communicate will be made easier.
In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved VeriChip, an RFID microchip that can be implanted in humans to carry a patient's health records when the patient cannot communicate the information (Jon, 2006).
There are many potential benefits to the use of RFID implants in humans besides carrying medical information. Through this technology Identification-related applications could be envisage such as the capability to find lost children or confused Alzheimer's patients, or to determine if job applicants are illegal immigrants or criminals. Also, these devices can be used for tracking. The tracking function can aid authorities in locating missing persons, fugitives, etc. The tracking function can also be used to identify criminals at the scene of a crime and as well as locating those who have fled the scene of the crime. Also researchers believe this technology would also be useful in other government programs such as measuring astronaut data, as well as civilian first-responder uses (Elaine, 2006).
Microchip implant human - Disadvantages
Potential threat with respect to invasion of privacy- if people are going to be coerced to have chips implanted in their bodies, they will feel that their private life is being intruded because other people will be accessing a lot of information about their medical condition and movements without their consent. With all this technology, people are likely going to start reverse engineering it, and individuals will find out how to make them work. This leads to more types of identity crimes than we have more. All somebody has to do is figure out how to make a tool that can read a chip, and then start manufacturing it, or telling people how to make one, then you have a vast epidemic. The Current system in the united state ensure safety of information of patient if properly implemented, with a chip, information can be stolen at a distance. Likewise, an implant chip system has the potential to be greatly abused by those in power, and criminals alike and this will to increased amount of identity theft in the U.S (Scientific American Inc. 2010).
The microchip devices could see a new social segregation in the form of "electronic apartheid," that will be characterized by computer virus infections that interfere with pacemakers, and a wealth of unknown health problems caused by having too much data and not enough knowledge. Chip implants currently cause harm to the human body because they can fuse with tissue and cause damage when removed. Several scientific case studies prove that microchip implants have caused cancer in animals therefore this presents a wide variety of serious health risks that might be connected with microchip implants in human beings (Elaine, 2006).
Conclusion and recommendation
Although this technology is associated with many benefits especially for diagnosis in the medical and security sector a lot need to be done to overcome to overcome the challenges that are associated with it. The government should not coerce people into having microchips implanted into their bodies because this will make them feel that their private life is being intruded. Therefore this exercise should be voluntarily and should be done after people have been appropriately educated the effects of having microchips implanted on their bodies. A lot of research also needs to be done to ensure that for those who are willing to have microchips implanted are not exposed to other health hazards for instance chances of developing cancer. Therefore this calls for researchers to find out appropriate chips that are safe to individuals. All in all those who feel that their life cannot be put under any threat by fake microchip operators can be encouraged to use it since it still has very good advantages when it comes to medication for the terminally ill who cannot reach to their doctors and even for an earlier diagnosis of a sickness so that one can prevent further infection.