Tattoos Provide a Permanent Indication of Medical Wishes

If you’re a diabetic, allergic or have a DNR request in your medical file currently your best way of conveying this information to emergency personnel should a situation arise is to inscribe it on a bracelet. But bracelets snap or break off and can be lost. Now more and more patients are opting for a more permanent form of identification – a tattoo.

Although the American Medical Association does not specifically address medical tattoos in its guidelines, many are hoping that as these procedures become more popular the official literature will be updated. First however there are some hurdles and issues that must be addressed.

The most obvious of these issues lies in finding a uniform location for these identifiers to be placed on the body. As it stands, the patient can theoretically put their tattoo in any location making it a veritable guessing game for paramedics and EMTs. Some opt for an obvious location such as their arm or their chests but a consistent location has yet to be decided upon.

Another question is whether or not emergency personnel would be obligated to follow end of life wishes simply tattooed on the patient unless they could verify that they had the proper legal papers.

Ultimately the decision lies with the patient and a simple internet search will yield dozens of online discussions on the subject.

(Source: Yahoo! News)

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