Breast Cancer Survivor Lori Dorn Says She Endured ‘Humiliating’ Pat-Down At JFK

TSA, JFK Security Apologize, Admit Proper Protocol Was Not Followed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Although October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, it seems some Transportation Security Administration agents aren’t very aware when it comes to compassion.

Breast cancer survivor Lori Dorn says she was subjected to a humiliating public pat-down at John F. Kennedy airport even though she offered to produce documentation about her medical implants.

Dorn wrote in her blog that the patdown at JFK added “insult to injury and caused me a great deal of humiliation.”

Dorn was heading to San Francisco last week when a full-body scanner detected her prostheses. Dorn said she explained she had recently undergone bilateral mastectomy and had tissue expanders implanted for future breast reconstruction. A TSA agent refused to let her retrieve documentation from her wallet “that explains the type of expanders, serial numbers and my doctor’s information,” she said.

“I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers,” Dorn said.

In a tweet on her Twitter account Monday, Dorn said she received an apology from a JFK official “who agreed that proper policy wasn’t followed.”

In its own blog, the TSA said it regretted the incident and apologized. “We do our best to treat passengers with the dignity and respect they deserve, but in Lori Dorn’s case, it looks like we missed our mark,” it said.

The TSA said the security director at JFK has reached out to Dorn to learn more about what happened.

The agency said medical cards “are a great way for passengers to discreetly let us know about a medical situation or disability,” and in Dorn’s case TSA agents should have “been more empathetic to her situation.”

It added that private screenings can be requested by anyone for any reason and said the agency recently rolled out a four-part in-service training course focused on screening prosthetics. Training is expected to be completed across the country in over a year.

Dorn said that while she understood the need for safety, airport security agents needed to show compassion and sensitivity.

Should the TSA agent be fired? What can be done to prevent this from happening again?


One Comment

  1. I sympathize with your mistreatment says:


    My sympathies that you came up against some indiscreet and unreasonable TSA Agents.

    Unfortunately, the arguments in the comment section don’t represent or show much concern for your issue, but in this situation, you were wronged by what I can only assume is a poorly operating TSA unit. All the best.

  2. Joe says:

    Missed the Mark? Regrettable? Apologize? When are these knuckle heads along with their Handlers going to be held accountable? Fired and Jailed

  3. DigitalTexan says:

    I just went through “additional screening” due to random selection last week. It was not that bad. Then I realized what I was now accepting as “not that bad”. We are being slowly converted into mindless sheep that are herded, controlled and mocked by the employees of a government that is supposed to work for us.

    This is way out of control and need a massive reset.

  4. Maverick says:

    Okay, cut out all this prissy whining. I’m really getting tired of it. Some guys (and probably girls) want to kill us and so we complain about those who are trying to find the most unintrusive way to prevent it. If we all do our best we’ll get through this. Can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a minute? They have a lot of responsibility–some take this responsibility more seriously than others, thank heaven. And I’m sorry, lady, for your condition, but they want YOU to get where you’re going safely, too.

  5. Smitty says:

    Can I join TSA and be a paid groper, too?

  6. Uncle Chas says:

    Should this TSA agent be fired? I doubt it.

    Did she have the training? If so and she violated her training she should have it written up and the report put into her file. If she has repeated incidents in her file she should be put on notice and given a proper program with the opportunity to improve her performance. If she continues to underperform then she should be fired.

    In other words treat her the same with her job as any other working person in America deserves to be treated with their job.

  7. Jackie says:

    been there – had a breast removed and wear a shoulderpad to fill the void…!? and if they want it, I show it to them… in April I was about to take off my pants too. Speaking for myself and hopefully also giving a hint to anybody else: I do not take myself so serious and I want to enjoy life – they want to check me out.. well then they should do, I will giggle if they tickle me and take off my clothes if that makes things easier (Yo, people will look) – what the heck, I feel a lot better this way and I walk away without wondering wether or not somebody should be fired.

  8. Sylvie says:

    All TSAs should be fired IMMEDIATELY. We do not need the Gustapo here in our country. Tax the American people to put them through this? I don’t thinks so guys. Time to stand up for your rights while you still have them.

  9. ertdfg says:

    Hooray for the TSA, who else would you get to grope women and children, assault the elderly, and steal from your luggage.

    Oh, you thought they were there to stop terrorists? HAHAHA

    Um, they’ve stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars, groped thousands of women and children, and torn the colostomy bags and soiled more than a few seniors with their own bodily waste through incompetence.

    On the other side of the argument, they’ve caught 0 terrorists, foiled 0 plots, stopped 0 known attacks, and before they stopped releasing the results were adept at catching slightly less than 50% of test bombs sent through the system. They’re almost as competent as me flipping a coin.

    But you think their goal is what they’ve never done, and shown no competence doing; not what they’ve consistently done and show no interest in stopping?

    Seriously, how big of a gullible sap do you need to be to keep believing their claimed “reasons” in the face of their actions?

  10. Rol says:

    Why didn’t she have the documents at the ready? They give them to you if you are going to fly. I am no TSA fan and when my wife (who has the same implants) travels the card sized document is presented and quietly explained. She has been treated respectfully and never had a problem. Believe me; I was ready to call the news if there was a problem there at all. Since she prepared herself for the situation everything went smooth. I will put Ms. Dorn in the category of the person who stows their carry on 5 rows back from where they are sitting, and then tries to fight their way back to it when people are trying to deplane. Is it someone else’s fault that they caused a disruption in the TSA line? I am sure the TSA people do not look forward to these situations and security is necessary. Just saying.

  11. Speaknup says:

    Passengers always have a choice– although that choice may result in delays. Demand a private area for “enhanced” security screening (a.k.a the groping pat-down). If the TSA agent gives you trouble, demand to see a supervisor or a police officer.

    The reason some TSA agents get away with behavior that doesn’t follow “policy” is that passengers allow them to. Take the time to educate yourself on the rules in advance of flying and insist they be followed.

  12. maggie says:

    There many of these type of incidents. Remember the ninety year old women
    who had to remove her depends? The people who worked for the TSA
    or government are the ones posting to discredit people with legitimate
    complaints. They tried to down play the reports. Hire people with better
    educations who don’t have a power trip objective to do these jobs.

  13. Amber says:

    Yeah, that’s right, my name is Amber and I’m rocking one leg and one breast and nobody knows. So if TSA goes all gropaholic on me, I got a case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that I’ll cut loose on the “inspector” when she pulls me aside for a pat down and I’ll be like biatch please, ain’t no thing, cause it’s only gonna take you half as long with my super-fine round the clock horny bod.

  14. 1amWendy says:

    The TSA spends the vast majority of its time checking people that have medical assistive devices or noticeable medical conditions. Who’d have ever thought that a serviceman/woman returning wounded from an IED would face the remainder of their lives requiring the TSA “Full Monty” 100% of the time because silly them – they lost a limb serving their country.

    We are Freedom to Travel USA, an organization dedicated to regaining freedoms taken away from us by the TSA. We believe that suspicionless unwanted touching should not be a condition of travel. We believe that being subject to the equivalent of Peeping Toms without cause should not be a condition of travel. We believe that exposing ourselves to radiation, however small, should not be a condition of travel. We believe that merely the presence of a medical device, in and of itself, should not constitute “probable cause.” h t t p : / / fttusa. o r g

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