At John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, a woman was recently subjected to a pat-down search that she described as 'insulting' and 'humiliating.' Breast cancer patient Lori Dorn later wrote about her experience on her blog, and the incident was reported by Yahoo News.
After walking through the scanner as part of the airport screening process at JFK, she was then asked by a TSA agent to step aside. The problem? Several months earlier, Lori had undergone mastectomy (removal of both breasts) as treatment for breast cancer.
She had tissue expanders put in place during that surgery, to make room for breast implants to be inserted during a second surgery. She explained to the TSA agent that because of this history, she was not comfortable having her chest touched.
Dorn was carrying a medical card in her pocket that described the expander devices, and provided her doctor's contact information. Yet a TSA supervisor denied her request to show the card to the agent, and said that the breast exam was mandatory if Dorn wanted to make her flight. Dorn conceded that "I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers."
A TSA spokesman made a statement about the incident to NBC New York, which was later published by Yahoo! News. According to the spokesman, Dorn should have received a "more compassionate response from our officers, such as an offer on our part of private screening."