Poll: Most Not Ready For Medical Chip Implant

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Earlier this month, a Florida family was the first to be implanted with computer chips that contain telephone numbers and information about medications that can be read by a hand-held computer. According to a recent FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, less than one-quarter of Americans would follow their example.

Most of the public would decline such a procedure, with 70 percent saying they would not have the chip implanted if it were available.

Men are slightly more open to the idea than are women. Twenty-eight percent of men say they would have the implant compared to 19 percent of women. Those aged 60-70 are the most open to the new procedure with 31 percent saying they would have the implant.

Proponents of the chips believe they would be valuable for patients who are unable to give information to physicians in emergency situations. Others see the implanted chips as a way their privacy could be invaded. Overall, the public's approval of the implants is divided. Four in 10 think the chips are a good idea while a slim plurality (44 percent) thinks the chips are a bad idea (16 percent are unsure).

Polling was conducted by telephone May 14-15, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

1. Recently members of a Florida family were implanted with medical computer chips that contain information on medications and doctor phone numbers. A hand-held computer is used to read the information, which can be helpful if the person is unable to provide this information. Do you think these kinds of implanted computer chips are a good idea?

2. If the medical chips were readily available, would you have one implanted in your body?

3. (If yes, n = 208) Would you still have the chip implanted if you knew that a person with the right kind of scanner could read the chips of people passing in public places?