Radiology Bills Cross Governor’s Desk
Some state lawmakers are urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to sign legislation that would permit the sale of ultrasound machines to only licensed medical professionals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Supporters of the bill say overexposure to mechanical vibrations and higher temperatures from ultrasound equipment could result in tissue damage. People who purchase the machines for home use could use ultrasounds too often or incorrectly and potentially harm a fetus, according to proponents.
Opponents of the measure say it is an attempt by abortion-rights supporters to prevent anti-abortion pregnancy clinics from using ultrasounds to discourage abortions.
Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the bill (Geiger, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8).
In related news, Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill (AB 2720) relating to the performance of PET scans. Under the bill, a person who holds a current, valid certificate in diagnostic radiologic technology and performs PET scans using a machine that can perform a nuclear medicine procedure and a CT scan would be exempt from certain standards established by the Department of Health Services (Bill text, 8/17).
Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill (AB 2359) that would have required DHS to develop an ionizing radiation awareness section for its Web site, including a downloadable X-ray record card (Bill text, 8/16).
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger wrote that on his direction, DHS already "has modified its Web site to include the information on radiation safety awareness envisioned in this bill," including a "link to a downloadable X-ray record card that patients can use to track when they have had an X-ray procedure performed" (Office of the Governor release, 9/7).