Breast Cancer Survivor Faces Unnecessary Patdown At Airport
A breast cancer survivor says she faced “humiliation” when she was forced to have her breasts patted down during an airport screening last week.
Lori Dorn said a full-body scan revealed her prosthesis. She explained that she had recently undergone a mastectomy, and offered to present complete documentation of the material. The screeners refused to allow her to get the information from her wallet, and forced her to have her breasts touched in front of other passengers.
Officials from both Kennedy International Airport and TSA, the government agency that certifies and provides airport screeners, have expressed regret over the incident. TSA says it had started to retrain screeners on dealing with flyers with prosthetics even before last week’s incident. The agency notes, however, that the course will take over a year to reach all screeners. Dorn says she understands the need to check airline customers for security reasons, but says that more compassion and sensitivity is needed.
If you have breast, or other prosthetic material in or on your body, what can you do? A TSA spokesperson says that medical cards issued by a doctor provide passengers a discreet way to inform screeners about an unusual situation. If further examination is required, a passenger may request a private screening at any time for any reason.