Tattoos are unlikely to replace medical alert jewelry, said Ramesh Srinivasan, spokesman for the MedicAlert Foundation, which sells more than 100,000 pieces of jewelry a year that have medical conditions on them.
Unlike tattoos, MedicAlert jewelry also provide information that gives a "complete snapshot" of the person's health that can be accessed by professionals.
"Tattoos are totally different," Srinivasan said. "What's the validation behind it?"
Friedlander encourages patients to make their own medical decisions and to spell out their wishes ahead of time. He has paperwork outlining his preference to avoid CPR, but the tattoo, he explained, will "make people a whole lot more comfortable about honoring my known wishes."
"In pathology, you think a lot about the end of life," he said. "Nobody would ever accuse me of not loving life. ... When this thing stops beating, it's time for me to move on."
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