TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner allowing a person with an implanted medical device to voluntarily make a notation on his or her driver’s license or identification card cleared the Senate Transportation Committee today.
The bill, S-1505, allows individuals to choose to have a notation made on their driver’s license or identification card that they have an implanted medical device. The bill aims to protect individuals with an implanted medical device from adverse medical procedures during emergency situations when they cannot communicate.
“For those with an implanted medical device, there is a real fear that their life is at risk if they are unable to communicate during an emergency and they undergo a medical procedure, such as an MRI,” said Senator Shirley Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “New Jersey drivers’ licenses contain a field for organ donors, and we should also include a field to notify emergency medical professionals of an implanted medical device.”
Implanted medical devices are very common in the United States. Implanted medical device companies make an estimated of $200 billion in revenue per year, $85 billion of which is from the United States. An implanted medical device could include pacemakers, neurostimulators, insulin pumps, cochlear implants, retinal implants, hearing aids, eletro cardio gram leads, catheters, or other devices. Patients with an implanted medical device that undergo an MRI may experience torqueing of the device, burns, device malfunction, or other hazards.
S-1505 cleared the committee 5-0 and will now head to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.