by Steve Pociask, American Consumer Institute (ACI) president | Washington Post
Paul Waldman’s May 4 op-ed, “‘Right to repair’ could be the next big political movement,” made several good points about the so-called right-to-repair movement, specifically with regard to agricultural equipment and personal devices, such as fixing the glass on a smartphone.
However, foundational challenges exist in expanding repair rights in the medical device space. Medical devices and surgical equipment are intricate and complex machines that require precision and expert training to conduct repairs. CT scanners, ventilators and bypass machines are categorically different from most consumer goods.
Allowing untrained, unregulated service repair people introduces an unnecessary risk that could jeopardize functionality and, consequently, patient safety.