In an article for the New York Daily News, reporter Kevin O’Reilly details how several physicians in the U.S. have been unable to use life-saving equipment on COVID-19 patients due to broken devices. And, unfortunately, hospital-based biomeds aren’t able to fix the devices due to manufacturer-imposed constraints.
These facts are infuriating, but the story is all too familiar. Companies that make and sell everything from smartphones to tractors restrict consumers’ abilities to repair the things they own. That allows manufacturers to monopolize the repair market and drive planned obsolescence, creating additional revenue streams. The Right to Repair movement fights this by working to let product owners fix their stuff.
When you buy something, you should be able to do what you want with it. We shouldn’t tolerate this repair racket for any product, which is why New York state Sen. Neil Breslin and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo introduced the Digital Fair Repair Act. But when life-saving equipment such as ventilators or dialysis machines are sitting unrepaired and unrepairable, this system is particularly unacceptable. And biomeds—the ones dealing with this issue first-hand—are speaking out.
Read the full article on the New York Daily News.