OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- It may seem like science fiction, but a Tulsa lawmaker says he is not taking any chances and wants a law to prevent microchips from being inserted into the bodies of Oklahomans against their will.
Sen. Brian Crain said he got the idea for his proposal after viewing information on the Internet about a company that offers microchip technology for use in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities.
"If people want to have this done voluntarily, that's great," the Republican lawmaker said. "I don't have any problem with this. But I never want anyone coerced into having one of these implants."
Crain's bill has a cleared Senate committee and is awaiting action by the full Senate.
Officials at the state Health Department, the Department of Corrections and the Oklahoma Hospital Association said they were not aware of anybody getting microchip implants in Oklahoma.
Kevin Pipes, chief of policy at the health agency, which regulates nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, said he had been told that it would require a doctor's permission to implant anything under someone's skin.
"I'm curious about it (the possible use of microchip implants). I think we all are," Pipes said.
Orwellian discussions of the government using microchips to keep track of citizens has long been fodder at coffee shops.
That's the concern Carolyn Annanders said she has heard most from customers at Panek's Root & Scoot in southeast Oklahoma County. If her boss wanted to require her to get a microchip implant, she said, "I'd reach up and smack him for the first time."
Rebecca Moore of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers said other devices are available to keep track of wandering patients and she has only heard of microchips being used to keep track of animals.
"I have one in my dog," she said.