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Cruise Inspires Crackdown

May 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — When Tom Cruise announced that he bought an ultrasound machine so he could see his unborn daughter, a California legislator thought the "Mission: Impossible" star had gone too far.

Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) has introduced a bill that would ban manufacturers of such imaging devices from selling them to anyone but licensed medical professionals.

"If someone sees Tom Cruise buy one, they think this is the thing to do," said Lieu, who wrote the bill (AB 2360) after consulting with his brother, a radiologist, and brother-in-law, a doctor.

Cruise's fiancee, Katie Holmes, gave birth to a healthy baby girl April 18. But Lieu said he fears that copycat fans might buy ultrasound machines, which doctors say could harm a fetus, for home use.

Doctors and technologists receive years of training to perform ultrasound exams, which provide images that obstetricians use to check a baby's health.

"There are a lot of settings on an ultrasound machine that you would only use on adults and not on a fetus," said Dr. Miyuki Murphy, director of ultrasound at Radiological Associates of Sacramento.

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