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For a select few that are willing to go under the needle, medical tattoos are taking the place of bracelets. Dr. Ed Friedlander, a Kansas City pathologist with a "No CPR" tattoo on his chest, believes that the tattoos senates a stronger message than a bracelet. Melissa Boyer is a diabetic who decided to get a tattoo with the medical symbol to identify herself as a TYpe 1 diabetic as well as her allergies to penicillin and aspirin, after losing and breaking bracelets for years. Though medical tattoos don't seem to carry much legal weight being that when an EMT is rushing to your side they may not choose to honor the tattooed request of a severely ill patient.
Ramesh Srinivasan, Spokesman for the MedicAlert Foundation, doesn't believe that tattoos will replace medical alert jewelry. Unlike tattoos the jewelry provides professionals with "a complete snapshot of the persons health."
"Tattoos are totally different," Srinivasan said. "What's the validation behind it?"
But still "Friedlander encourages patients to make their own medical decisions and to spell out their wishes ahead of time. He has paperwork outlining his preference to avoid CPR, but the tattoo, he explained, will 'make people a whole lot more comfortable about honoring my known wishes.'"