Doctor, doctor, I've got this strange tattoo

 

Forget Angelina Jolie's shoulder-covering Buddhist incantation or David Beckham's Christ on the cross. The smart money is on a new kind of tattoo: the medical tat.

Americans with severe allergies, or conditions such as diabetes, are ditching their "allergy bracelets" and turning to the indelible ink of the tattooist's pen to ensure that they aren't given drugs that trigger their allergy in an emergency.

So far, so sensible. This being America, however, some have taken it further and having instructions to paramedics such as "do not resuscitate" tattooed across their chests. An example of admirable firm-mindedness, surely, if a slight indifference to how you look on a sun lounger.

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