Lack of right to redress hinders agriculture and health care – Dakota Free Press
NPR Morning editiondiscussed the “right to reparation” movement at the farmers this morning. A Montana farmer turned activist recounted how last summer, while running to bring in a hay crop, his John Deere tractor broke down. John Deere policies prohibited him from leaving his tractor to an independent mechanic or attempting to repair his own tractor on site to resume haymaking; Deere forced him to take the tractor to one of his dealerships for a month-long service that cost $ 5,000.
The problem arises because, as we increasingly rely on precision agriculture and use technology to make engines cleaner and more efficient, John Deere and other manufacturers are equipping their tractors with software that they keep under their ownership. Basically, a farmer spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a farm machine that he doesn’t really own and can’t open and repair with his own hands.
The same problem arose with medical equipment:
COVID-19 highlights manufacturers’ long-standing refusal to provide information for repairing medical equipment. For years, manufacturers have reduced the ability of hospitals to independently repair and maintain medical equipment by denying access to necessary knowledge, software, tools, and parts.
There is a solution, a solution that exists in other sectors of our economy. The right to repair is the right of consumers to repair and modify their own consumer electronics devices, such as cell phones and automobiles. The European Commission announced in March 2020 plans for new rules for the right to repair that would cover cellphones, tablets and laptops by 2021. 2012,5 requiring automakers to provide the necessary information to any no one to repair their vehicles.
There is now an opportunity for the medical community to ensure that the medical field has access rights to open data similar to the rights of consumer electronics and automobiles. In August 2020, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced the Critical Medical Infrastructure Right-to-Repair Act of 2020, removing barriers to repairing medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic that were imposed by manufacturers. . This bill requires manufacturers to provide, on fair and reasonable terms, access to information and tools that can be used to diagnose, maintain or repair medical equipment. The law also allows owners, tenants and medical equipment departments to repair or maintain critical medical infrastructure in response to COVID-19.
In these extraordinary times, such right to redress legislation not only moves the medical field in a more affordable, efficient and sustainable direction, but also allows vital services to continue to be available in times of high stress. [Shuhan He, Debbie Lai, and Larone Lee, “The Medical Right to Repair: The Right to Save Lives,” The Lancet, 2021.03.24].