Medical tattoos are on the rise, according to the Toronto Sun, although their effectiveness is currently up for debate. An article published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal concludes that “paramedics and emergency doctors might not notice the tattoos, let alone treat them as proper instructions.”
Not only are medical tattoos a fairly new phenomenon, but there’s no standard, documented procedure as to what they are supposed to look like. According to the Sun, “A Google image search turns up designs with angel wings, snakes, butterflies, skulls, hearts and even Hello Kitty, on shoulders, backs, forearms and wrists.” And even if someone has “Do Not Resuscitate” inked on their lower back, how is a paramedic to know that it’s a medical instruction and not just the name of their favourite Testament tune?
On that note, while I haven’t seen Hello Kitty saying DNR on anybody’s skin, there are at least a couple people who use the anime character to tell the word they have diabetes. Case in point:
(The hearts on the i’s are an interesting touch…)