You may have noticed your doctor using electric rather than mercury thermometers in recent years. Mercury thermometers have become much harder to find over the past decade. Twenty states banned them for medical use since 2001, and starting this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will stop calibrating mercury thermometers completely.
Basically, this is the end of mercury thermometers. Without a standard for calibration, there will be no way to know if a temperature reading from a thermometer is accurate.