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Embedded chip tracks medical history, future potential uncertain

Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. of Palm Beach, Fla. recently announced the development of an identification chip to be implanted in the skin.

Called the Verichip, some people wonder whether if it is a simply a medical advancement or the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy.

The Verichip works on radio frequency and contains medical and personal information. The chip could replace today’s medical alert bracelets and is read with an external scanner. It only takes a few minutes to insert into the body.

Currently, Applied Digital is working on an FDA approval for the chips.

The test group, which includes 50 volunteers willing to receive the implant, has received nationwide attention.

According to Applied Digital, a Florida family has volunteered for each member to receive the chip. For the father, Jeff, this could be an advantage, since he is on numerous medications, is a cancer survivor, and has had a number of surgeries.

In theory, the chip’s information, including a patient’s entire medical history, could be read by any hospital with the necessary scanner.

Applied Digital Solutions has already released the “Digital Angel” chip, which is used to locate someone through the Global Positioning System. It is mostly used on patients with Alzheimer’s who often wander away from home, and is worn around the wrist like a watch.

Several Latin American countries have asked Applied Digital to include this technology in the Verichip to reduce kidnappings and identity theft.

Some Christian groups claim that the chip may be the prophesied “Mark of the Beast”, a mark forced upon citizens by the Antichrist in the biblical “end times”.

According to Revelation 13:16-17, “He [The Beast] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

However, according to Regent University professor Dr. Joseph Kickasola in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, on February 18, the Verichip has nothing to do with the Mark of the Beast.

“My judgment is it does not,” Kickasola said. “I think it’s both illogical and unfair to make that assertion, and let me tell you why. I think the Bible clearly says the Mark of the Beast is for buying and selling and that it is also coerced, it’s government enforced. On the face of it, these microchips are for good purposes, like for medical records, like for lost children. They’re not for buying or selling, as it is described in Revelation.”

On campus, many students share the opinion of Kickasola.

“I think it will be good as long as it is used for its original intent. Also, that it isn’t for buying and selling,” Michael Savage, ’04, said. “Of course, I would never get one.”

Other students agreed with Savage.

“I think it’s sort of strange,” Lindsay De Costa, ’02, said. “It should be good for medical records, but I probably wouldn’t get one.”

However, other students have their own theories about the Verichip’s motives and potential possibilities in a not so distant future.

“It’s the mark of the Devil,” Danielle Roberts, ’03, said. “I promise you it has 666 encrypted on it somewhere. It’s the beginning of the end.”

Some Christians believe it marks the beginning of the end times.

“It’s scary,” Pastor Mike Whitford of The Peoples Church said. “If I could sum it up in one word, I would use prophetic. People have been talking about this for decades, even before computers and microchips were invented. It’s creepy.”

Web Links

For more information on the Verichip or Applied Digital Solutions, try
Their website: http://www.adsx.com/ or try
Yahoo News http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/011219/190064_1.html

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