The Indignity of Lori Dorn, Breast Cancer Survivor, at an Airport Security Checkpoint
Lori Dorn, a survivor of breast cancer, reportedly had no choice but to have her breasts touched during a mandatory manual examination by Transportation Security Administration personnel at the airport security checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York if she wanted to fly to San Francisco. This was apparently a result of tissue expanders — put in place in her breasts for future reconstruction after suffering a bilateral mastectomy — which apparently alarmed the screeners as suspicious when Dorn’s body was scanned.
Dorn was not comfortable with having her breasts touched, but she was not allowed to retrieve a card from her baggage to prove what she was attempting to explain. After what she accuses the Transportation Security Administration of a lack of “human dignity and compassion” — which includes being scolded about not being able to travel if she did not submit to the allegedly intrusive examination of her breasts — the Transportation Security Administration posted a formal apology to Dorn on their official weblog.
However, the Transportation Security Administration attempts to justify what happened by explaining that a medical card does not exempt one from screening at an airport security checkpoint, and that secondary screening — which can be performed privately upon request — is required “if advanced imaging technology detects an anomaly that cannot be cleared.”
Despite what appears to be a heartfelt apology by the Transportation Security Administration, FlyerTalk members are incensed upon learning about this incident.