CA bill banning in-home US moves forward

By staff writers

May 5, 2006 -- The California Assembly continues its crusade to make it illegal for private citizens to take a cue from actor Tom Cruise and purchase an ultrasound machine for at-home use.

On the eve of Cruise's new movie "Mission: Impossible III" opening nationwide, the assembly debated Democratic Assemblyman Ted Lieu's bill, which prohibits the lease or sale of an ultrasound machine by a manufacturer to anyone other than licensed medical professionals.

The bill (A.B. 2360) was introduced by Lieu in March. An amended version of the bill, dated May 1, states that violation of the proposed law would carry a criminal misdemeanor charge. The bill was slated for its third reading on the Assembly floor on Thursday.

"If someone sees Tom Cruise buy one, they think this is the thing to do. This is a public safety measure. There's really no medical reason for an untrained person to use this machine," according to Lieu (E!Online, May 4, 2006).

In November 2005, Cruise revealed to television interviewer Barbara Walters that he had purchased the machine to keep tabs on his child with his fiancée, actress Katie Holmes. Holmes gave birth to a baby girl, named Suri, on April 18.

The purchase was denounced as highly risky business by imaging organizations. The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) called for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate Cruise.

Carol Rumack, chair of the American College of Radiology's Ultrasound Commission, stressed that "untrained people, even if they have the financial means, should not buy, or be allowed to buy and operate, ultrasound machines which are, in fact, medical devices and should not be used without a medical indication" (ACR News, December 1, 2005).

In a "Primetime" interview with Diane Sawyer on April 1, Cruise joked that he had Holmes hooked up to the machine "24 hours a day."

By staff writers
March 5, 2006

Ultrasound scanner bill introduced in CA, March 9, 2006

AIUM: FDA should investigate star's US purchase, November 29, 2005

AMA says ultrasound in-utero "portraits" are bad idea, June 22, 2005

Copyright © 2006


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