Ethical Issues and Controversies

If biotelemetry were to be used in humans extensively, one could envision a serious problem related to the use of collected data.  Undoubtedly, biotelemetric methods would give doctors access to vastly more information about their patients. However, though this could increase efficiency and lower costs, there could be concerns related to invasion of privacy.

By allowing such sensitive and private data to be collected at all times, one also gives doctors and hospitals great insight into one's personal life and habits. On one hand, this will allow for more effective treatment regimes for different pathologies.  On the other hand, intimate information about one's personal life will be broadcast in open air. The possibility of personal information being intercepted en route to the hospital is considerable. Such information could be used to blackmail someone, invading his or her privacy.  Another consideration is that although continuous monitoring of the body would allow for the detection of problems long before they ever became an issue, insurance companies might see this as a "pre-existing condition" which could affect one's ability to be insured.  

Though the field of biotelemetry offers the potential for the invasion of an individual's privacy, it also offers the potential to save millions of lives from diseases and organ failures.  It also offers the potential to better understand the natural world around us, our effects on it, and how to best conserve it.  Technology cannot be halted, and in the case of biotelemetry the benefits far outweigh the potential problems.

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