The contraceptive chip: The Gates Foundation has funded an implantable device which can be controlled remotely

An MIT spinoff called MicroCHIPS has announced plans to market an implantable contraceptive chip that can be turned on and off remotely, and lasts for as long as sixteen years.

Funded by the (Bill) Gates Foundation to the tune of $5 million, the chip contains enough of the contraceptive drug levonorgestrel to provide contraception for the major part of a woman's fertile years. Once implanted, the device will automatically melt a seal to release a few micrograms of the drug every month until it receives a wireless command to stop, or to start again if desired.

When developers were questioned about hacking concerns, they said the device will incorporate such precautions as individual password-protected remote controls and the need for an external transmitter to be held within a few inches of the device, which will be implanted in a region of fatty tissue. MicroCHIPS hopes to market the device in some regions of the world starting in 2018.

This announcement raises two distinct ethical issues.

One is the question of security relating to any kind of medical chip implanted in the human body. One of the news reports on the contraceptive device noted that former US Vice President Dick Cheney asked his doctors to disable his heart pacemaker's wireless interface out of concerns that someone might hack into it and zap him into eternity.
continue at MercatorNet

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