I've seen this argued over the past couple days on an alt Trek game well past TNG. This is a medical question regarding the canon of drawing blood for a physical.

We have one person (the doctor) who claims that blood draws are normal in a standard physical, using a hypospray, so that they can test for ailments that could not be picked up by biobeds, medical tricorders or any other non-invasive Trek tech. They say the tech cannot find the issues a blood draw can find and state that this is standard procedure so it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. They also plan on keeping the blood on file.

We have another person (the patient) who claims that Trek tech allows for testing without the 'barbaric and archaic' uses of drawing blood, as drawing blood hasn't been necessary in a standard physical since the 23rd century. Also that drawing blood was only necessary in the cases of working out unknowns within the results of the scans, or in the case of verifying that the person was a changeling. (We'll ignore that the changeling thing has never worked, not a single time.) This person was also raised in the Romulan Star Empire, so already has trust issues.

There's very few physicals done in the canon shows, but those that I recall were very tech reliant, sitting on a biobed or in that special chair Bashir had.

In any case, it's starting to cause a little bit of drama and I wanted to check the collective thought on the canon of it. :)

  • 1
    It does not necessarily have to be part of a standard check-up, but may be part of an extended/full check-up. I would point that the existence of blood-drawing tools in the 24th century would indicate that blood-drawing is still in use - somewhat. Also, I have a vague memory that Bashir and/or the Doctor did draw blood in some cases, but would to find the cases for this to become an answer. Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid to say that they still do blood testing in the 24th Century.

Voy: State of Flux (as part of a routine screening)

KES: Ensign, did you ever come in to leave a blood sample on file?

SESKA: No. I never got around to it. Why?

KES: I've been running a crew compatibility analysis and your file never came up.

TNG: Bloodlines (for genetic screening)
enter image description here

TNG: Too Short a Season (to test for drugs)

CRUSHER: I found traces of chemical substances in his blood and tissue samples, but none of them are in our pharmacopoeia. I'm still working on alien references to substances like these. All I can tell you is that he's ingested something that's strongly affecting his body.

PICARD: Specifics, Doctor.

CRUSHER: Captain, there are so many things going on, I can't give you specifics until I do a lot more tests.

TNG: Unnatural Selection (There's an assumption that Pulaski's blood will be on file, as part of her standard effects)

RIKER: A blood test, a tissue sample, anything that would have a sample of Doctor Pulaski's original DNA.

DATA: No, sir. Her records were shipped by way of Starfleet headquarters. They have not caught up with us yet.

  • <edited> Aha, thank you.
    – FirePuff
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 22:40
  • So are they records or are they samples? If they are records, how can they not have caught up? Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:59
  • @ThePopMachine Records and samples. Her whole file. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 10:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.