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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Promising, but flawed.

So this article is about a new scanner they're testing in an airport in Phoenix. Right now, going through the scanner is voluntary because they're just testing it out. The ACLU is worried because it provides a potentially pornographic picture and they claim it amounts to being strip searched in public. The more detailed the picture of the person they get, the more contraband they can see. Concerns about that, to me, are minimal. The pictures cannot be stored in the machine and they are being viewed by someone 50 ft away in a closed room, so they're not up for public consumption.

Here's what I see as the major flaw. They use X-ray technology. That's potentially dangerous. No woman who thinks she's pregnant or is pregnant will want to walk through one. I know I wouldn't. We already advise pregnant women to not have routine x-rays to prevent exposure of the fetus to external radiation. And precicesly how do they think there going to check every woman who claims to be pregnant? I mean they're not all going to be showing. Are they going to make all women who refuse to pass through take a urine pregnancy test? That's absurd and time consuming. Also there are reports that male terrorists have dressed as women to escape. So what's to stop one from added a fake pregnancy belly to their disguise? If these questions had been brought up, the article certainly didn't mention them.

I like the idea, but to me, it seems as thought it was not fully thought out.

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