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Implantable RFID Chips: Human Branding April 27, 2007 10:04 PM

Mark of the Beast Watch

Implantable RFID chips: Human branding

The VeriChip Corporation is planning to inject numbered microchips into 200 Alzheimer's patients next month. This plan raises serious ethical questions. Is it appropriate to use the most vulnerable members of society for invasive medical research? Should the company be allowed to implant microchips into people whose mental impairments mean they cannot give fully informed consent?

Microchipping people as if they were dogs or laboratory animals is dehumanizing. It violates their self-hood and their dignity. And for millions of people around the globe, receiving a numbered mark is also one of the most serious religious violations a person can commit. This is not an act to be taken lightly.

Injecting an implant into another person's flesh without that person's full consent is as violent and invasive as rape. Simply being unable to say "no" is not the same as giving consent.

We believe what VeriChip is planning is wrong. We hope you do, too, and will help us give a voice to those vulnerable members of society who cannot speak for themselves.


May 12th Prayer Vigil
Please join us on May 12th, 2007, for a prayer vigil at the Alzheimer's Community Care Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

VeriChip Corporation, along with AlzCare, is planning to exploit dementia patients for biomedical research. Unless it is stopped, they plan to implant 200 Alzheimer patients and their caregivers with subdermal-microchips. CASPIAN believes that using these individuals as test subjects is wrong, and we are planning a prayer vigil in support of human dignity. We're anticipating a good-sized turnout, and hope you will be there to join us! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

TO RSVP FOR THE MAY 12 PRAYER VIGIL, PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK.




SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS
We welcome your financial support to fund our anti-chipping work. To send a gift, please click the link at right or contact us via phone or e-mail. Please note: we are not a non-profit 501c3 corporation. Therefore, gifts are not tax-deductible.


The AntiChips website is a project of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Online at www.spychips.com and www.nocards.org.


 [ send green star]
 
 April 27, 2007 10:06 PM



(actual screen capture from VeriChip reseller website)

SERIOUS QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT VERICHIP SAFETY, DATA SECURITY

Think it's completely safe to inject an RFID transponder into the flesh of an elderly loved one?

Think again.

Although the FDA approved the VeriChip implant as a medical device in October of 2004, their approval does not mean the device is completely safe. We have obtained an FDA letter that outlines a number of potential health risks associated with the device.

Among the potential problems the FDA identifies are: "adverse tissue reaction," "migration of the implanted transponder," "failure of implanted transponder," "electrical hazards" and "magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] incompatibilty." Not to mention the nasty needle stick from the "inserter" used to inject it. (The FDA lists "failure of inserter" -- a bloody possiblity we'd rather not contemplate -- among the risks.)

To read the FDA's letter for yourself, download the PDF and refer to Page 3, Paragraph 2.

MRI ISSUES

Of the numerous risks listed, MRI incompatibility is perhaps the most serious. An MRI machine uses powerful magnetic fields coupled with pulsed radio frequency (RF) fields. According to the FDA's Primer on Medical Device Interactions with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems, "electrical currents may be induced in conductive metal implants" that can cause "potentially severe patient burns."

Presumably, VeriChip-MRI incompatibility means that doctors will be unable to order this potentially life-saving diagnostic procedure for patients with VeriChip implants, unless the patient undergoes a surgical procedure to remove the VeriChip first.

The VeriChip's problems don't stop there, says RFID experts Dr. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre. McIntyre, who is also a former bank examiner and financial writer, has carefully analyzed the company's SEC registration statement and associated chipping information and discovered serious flaws. It turns out the company's own literature indicates that chipped patients cannot undergo an MRI if they're unconscious. What's more, the company admits that critical medical information linked to the chip could be unavailable in a real emergency.

The instructions provided to medical personnel warn that chipped patients should not undergo an MRI unless they are fully alert and able to communicate any "unusual sensations or problems," like movement or heating of the implant. This conflicts with the company's efforts to promote the device to people who cannot speak for themselves, such as Alzheimer's patients, those with dementia, the mentally disabled, and people who are concerned about entering an emergency room unconscious.

Ironically, chipped patients may have to wear a Medic Alert bracelet or bear some obvious marking so they aren't mistakenly put in an MRI machine.

VERICHIP IDENTIFIES ADDITIONAL RISKS

Patients may also need a MedicAlert bracelet as a backup in case the VeriChip database containing their critical medical information is unavailable. The fine print on the back of the VeriChip Patient Registration Form warns implantees that "the Company does not warrant...that the website will be available at any particular time," and physicians are told the product might not function in places where there are ambient radio transmissions--like ambulances.

By signing the chipping agreement, the patient agrees not to hold VeriChip Corporation liable for any damages from any cause whatsoever, even if those damages stem from the company's breach of contract or negligence.

In addition, patients are required to waive any claims related to the product's "merchantability and fitness." The waiver paragraph as it appears on the form is reprinted below:

"Patient...is fully aware of any risks, complications, risks of loss, damage of any nature, and injury that may be associated with this registration. Patient waives all claims and releases any liability arising from this registration and acknowledges that no warranties of any kind have been made or will be made with respect to this registration. ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, HOWEVER ARISING, WHETHER BY OPERATION OF LAW OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MECHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXCLUDED AND WAIVED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COMPANY BE LIABLE TO PATIENT FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST INCOME OR SAVING ARISING FROM ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THEIR POSSIBILITY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DAMAGES ARE SOUGHT BASED ON BREACH OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY." [Emphasis in the original.]

That's quite a lot of potential harm for something supposedly designed to help patients.

MEDICALERT OFFERS A SAFE ALTERNATIVE

If you're looking for a secure, non-invasive way to alert medical professionals to the health history and identity of a loved one, we recommend the Medic Alert bracelet as a safe alternative to the Veri  [ send green star]

 
 April 27, 2007 10:11 PM

VeriChip. Given MedicAlert's 50+ year track record, emergency health providers, as well as police and safety officials, know to look for it. It costs far less than the VeriChip and has none of the serious health risks associated with implanted microchips.

MedicAlert recently partnered with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to offer a special MedicAlert program designed specifically for Alzheimer's patients. MedicAlert's website explains that:

MedicAlert and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) have formed a strategic alliance to assist individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in emergency situations, including promoting a MedicAlert identification bracelet with a color coded symbol.

The special teal-colored MedicAlert identification bracelet is the color of Alzheimer's disease and will denote that an individual has the brain disorder. In case of an emergency, the emblem alerts medical professionals or public safety officers to call the MedicAlert 24-hour Emergency Response Center to receive identification and further medical information of the individual.

A MedicAlert membership is critical for individuals with Alzheimer's disease since they may wander off and be unable to express who they are or where they live. MedicAlert will speak for them if they are unable to speak for themselves. -Source: MedicAlert website http://www.medicalert.com/AFA/


If you're looking for a secure, non-invasive way to alert medical professionals to your health history, we recommend the MedicAlert bracelet as a safe alternative to the VeriChip. Given the MedicAlert's 50+ year track record, all emergency health providers know to look for it. It costs far less and has none of the serious health risks associated with an implanted computer chip.


The AntiChips website is a project of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Online at www.spychips.com and www.nocards.org.


ALZHEIMER'S PATIENTS TARGETED FOR MEDICAL IMPLANT EXPERIMENTATION

On February 22, 2007, the VeriChip Corporation and Alzheimer's Community Care, Inc. announced their plan to conduct a medical study involving the implantation of 200 Alzheimer's patients with a VeriChip microchip implant. The device will be injected into the patients' flesh for a two-year experiment to study the effectiveness and safety of the implants.

Alzheimer's Community Care officials have indicated that the microchip implantation could begin as soon as May.

Medical experimentation on Alzheimer's patients raises profound issues of informed consent. We strongly believe that cognitively impaired individuals should not be used in medical experimentation of this type.

Not only is injecting potentially harmful microchips into people who cannot say "no" ethically problematic, it is in direct violation of VeriChip's longstanding position that no one should be involuntarily implanted with their product. In its press release, VeriChip acknowledges that the patients being implanted "cannot speak for themselves."

Since cognitively impaired individuals are unable to give informed consent, their use in medical experiments is highly controversial. When medical research is conducted on human beings in conjunction with a university or research institution, an institutional review board (IR is charged with ensuring that the research meets appropriate ethical and safety guidelines. There is no such oversight in this case.

The need for medical researchers to obtain informed consent from individuals involved in medical experimentation was first established in 1947 by the Nuremberg Code. Since that time, guidelines have been developed to ensure that no one is experimented upon against their will.

The National Bioethics Advisory Committee has developed guidelines and recommendations on the use of human subjects with cognitive impairment in medical research studies. Here are some of their recommendations:

"An IRB should not approve research protocols targeting persons with mental disorders as subjects when such research can be done with other subjects."

"Because of [the cognitively impaired] population's potential vulnerability, we should prohibit research targeting them if that research can be conducted equally well with other subjects. At least two reasons support this prohibition. First, it is important, on grounds of justice and fairness, to discourage any tendency to engage these persons in research simply because they are in some sense more available than others. Second, this prohibition would further reinforce the importance of informed consent in human subjects research. The principles of justice and respect for persons jointly imply that IRBs should not approve research protocols targeting persons with decisional impairments due to mental disorders when the research does not, by design, require such subjects."

"Even when decisionmaking capacity appears to be severely impaired, respect for persons must prevail over any asserted duty to serve the public good as a research subject. Hence, a potential or actual subject's objection mu  [ send green star]

 
 April 27, 2007 10:13 PM

 Hence, a potential or actual subject's objection must be heeded, regardless of the level of risk or potential benefit, just as it would in the case of an individual who clearly retains decisional capacity. Respect for persons requires that we avoid forcing an individual to serve as a research subject, even when the research offers the possibility of direct medical benefit to the individual."

"No person who has the capacity for consent may be enrolled in a study without his or her informed consent. When potential subjects are capable of making informed decisions about participation, they may accept or decline participation without involvement of any third parties... A third party, such as a relative or friend, may not override the informed decisions of capable people. This is an implication of respect for persons, including their autonomous choices."

Additional Resources:

VeriChip Press Release: "VeriChip Corporation Partners with Alzheimer’s Community Care to Conduct Study of VeriMed Patient Identification System"
http://www.verichipcorp.com/news/1172151146

The Ethics Of Research With Subjects Who Have Dementia http://onlineethics.org/reseth/mod/ADreseth.html

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission's report on Research Involving Persons With Mental Disorders That May Affect Decisionmaking Capacity http://onlineethics.org/reseth/nbac/mindex.html


The AntiChips website is a project of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Online at www.spychips.com and www.nocards.org.


WHY ADVOCATES AND LAWMAKERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT INVOLUNTARY MICROCHIPPING

If you do not believe the threat of involuntary microchipping is real, please take a moment to read over the following disquieting developments. Taken together, they reveal a focused effort to promote human microchipping. The time to nip this trend in the bud is now.

• In 2005, VeriChip tried to chip the residents of Orange Grove Center, a facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that cares for the developmentally disabled. VeriChip offered to inject the devices for free to promote its product, but was ultimately rebuffed when the public questioned whether it was ethical to chip people who could not give informed consent. [1]

• Also in 2005, Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and 2008 presidential candidate, joined the board of directors for the VeriChip Corporation. He has used his Bush administration connections to promote the device, and has appeared on national television suggesting that every American should receive a VeriChip implant to link to their electronic medical records. Thompson also suggested using the VeriChip to replace dog tags in our armed forces. [2]

• The VeriChip Corporation claims to have been in talks with the Pentagon about implanting RFID tags into military personnel. [4]

• VeriChip CEO Scott Silverman publicly suggested that the U.S. government adopt the VeriChip implant to tag and track legal immigrants and guest workers. [Note: It is unclear to us how chipping undocumented immigrants will solve the problem of illegal immigration.] [5]

• The Congressional Record shows that Colombian President Álvaro Uribe told Senator Arlen Specter that he would consider chipping guest workers before allowing them to leave Colombia for the United States. [6]

• During the September 2005 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice John Roberts, Senator Joseph Biden commented, "Can a microscopic tag be implanted in a person's body to track his every movement? There's actual discussion about that. You will rule on that — mark my words — before your tenure is over." [7]

• In 2004, employees of the Mexican Attorney General's office were asked to receive a chip implant to access a secure document room. Eighteen were actually chipped, and those who refused were reportedly reassigned. [8]

• In 2006, two employees of CityWatcher, a Cincinnati, Ohio, video surveillance company were implanted with VeriChips to access a secure room. While the company reportedly did not require the workers to get chipped, the incident worried employees around the country. Could employers make taking a chip a condition for employment? [9]

• New Jersey's oldest and largest insurer, Hor  [ send green star]

 
 April 27, 2007 10:14 PM

• New Jersey's oldest and largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is currently working with the Hackensack Regional Medical Center and VeriChip to develop a business case for the chipping of people. Privacy and civil liberties advocates caution that insurers could one day require customers to get chipped, or they could offer significant premium penalties for those who refuse. [10]

• IBM holds a major stake in the VeriChip Corporation. IBM has sworn public documents on file at the United States Patent and Trademark office detailing how marketers and government agents can track humans with RFID technology. [12] [13]

• IBM and VeriChip have set up a test laboratory in Austin, Texas, to explore the case for human chipping. [14]

• Since the VeriChip Corporation recently took its stock public, it's under increasing pressure from its shareholders to generate revenues. VeriChip has announced plans to devote $8 to $10 million of its IPO proceeds to promote the chipping of people. [15] At a recent Florida Marlins baseball game, VeriChip purchased a prominent billboard reading "Microchip Implants Save Live." Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to this message and likely believed it, despite the fact that no one's life has been saved by an implanted microchip. No mention was made of the serious potential health downsides of the implant. [16]

• Other companies that offer implant technology to identify and track lab rats, cattle, and pets could follow the pattern of the VeriChip Corporation and begin promoting human identification and tracking. One such company, Somark, has developed "chipless" RFID that can be injected into skin like a tattoo to track animals from a distance through radio waves. The company has suggested its product would be ideal for tracking members of the military. [17]

###

About this document: A version of this document was first submitted as testimony to to the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health & Human Services in support of Oklahoma Senate Bill 47, "Prohibiting the Forced Implantation of a Microchip." The authors are Liz McIntyre and Dr. Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN Consumer Advocates and Co-authors of the "Spychips" series of books on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). All rights reserved.

Sources

http://www.cephas-library.com/nwo/nwo_chips_spark_ethics _concerns.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.spychips.com/devices/tommythompsonverichip.html .

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=519075 , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.examiner.com/a-232630~Company_trying_to_get _under_soldiers__skin.html?setEdition=Miami , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/silverman-foxnews.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194337,00.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09 /13 /AR2005091300693.html, accessed 6 February 2006  [ send green star]

 
 April 27, 2007 10:15 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5439055/, accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/us-employees-verichipped .html , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1991150,00.asp , accessed 7 February 2007.

http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/portals/article.cfm?type =mobile_tech&articleId=12531 , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1347022/000119312507 009620/ds1a.htm , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.truthcastnetwork.com/marlins.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2007 /sb 20070125_543288.htm?chan=smallbiz_smallbiz+index+page_ david+e.+gumpert , accessed 6 February 2007.

http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/acts/05Act482.pdf .


 [ send green star]
 
 April 27, 2007 10:18 PM


ANTI-CHIPPING LEGISLATION

 

 

CASPIAN has developed model legislation to prohibit non-consensual chipping:

>>The "Bodily Integrity Act"

>> Contact your elected representatives to request their sponsorship.

>> Anti-chipping legislation has now been introduced in Ohio, Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma (with both House and Senate bills) and Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia.

 


State Legislation
Click on text for more details:




The AntiChips website is a project of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Online at www.spychips.com and www.nocards.org.

Anti-chipping prayer vigil at Alzheimer's Community Care

Why:
VeriChip Corporation, along with AlzCare, is planning to exploit dementia patients for biomedical research. Unless it is stopped, they plan to inject 200 Alzheimer's victims and their caregivers with subdermal RFID-microchips.

What:
A prayer vigil to prevent forced chipping

When:
Saturday, May 12th, 10 AM

Where:
Alzheimer's Community Care, Inc.
800 Northpoint Parkway, Suite 101-B
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 683-2700
| www.alzcare.org

(meeting location to be announced)

Who:
Concerned citizens, friends, spouses, kids, neighbors, classmates, media, all are welcome.


Please join us:

Everyone is welcome to attend this event. Several people will be bringing their small children and teenagers so feel free to bring your extended family.

If you can attend, please fill out the RSVP form.

If you would like to volunteer for future CASPIAN events, please fill out the volunteer form.

If you want to offer moral support but are not sure if you can make it to the event, please use our feedback page.

What to bring:

While it is not essential, you should probably bring a protest sign. Be sure your sign is legible from a distance (bold black letters on a white background works best) and contains a clear, concise message. We will have a small number of pre-made signs on hand; please bring a $10 contribution if you would like to use one of our signs.

Handouts/Flyers You may wish to print out a stack of our flyers below to distribute at the protest. After the protest officially ends, we will disburse to hand these out at various locations around Dallas and Fort Worth. We recommend printing them double sided (one flyer on the front and the other on the back) on colored paper.

Location:

Alzheimer's Community Care, Inc.
800 Northpoint Parkway, Suite 101-B
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 683-2700

www.alzcare.org

 [ send green star]
 
Odd how April 30, 2007 6:40 PM

 society  can even consider in our society implanting a  chip into a law abiding citizen just because they are ill.........YET, there would be protests, parades, letters, etc. protesting the same  action if we did it to convicted prisoners.......sex offenders etc.              Go figure !  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Yes, Tricia and Judy May 15, 2007 5:20 PM

Justice, could use it for child molesters and I wouldn't do any parading in the streets.  However, the introduction of useing microchips on the elderly and sickly is a tricky way, Politically, to introduce it to the public.  The body automatically rejects foreign objects implanted into it.  I wonder who will take legal responsibility if there is a medical problem ?   I say, No to microchips for anyone, other than hardened criminals and child abusers.    [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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