Readers React: Wearing a medical device at an airport? Prepare to be humiliated by the TSA

Sen. Ben Cardin Discusses Effects On Shutdown On Aviation Workers At BWI Airport
TSA employees at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Jan. 14.
(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

To the editor: I am blessed to be almost 80, a 40-year breast cancer survivor who is provided with silicone breast prostheses by my health insurance plan. However, the Transportation Security Administration protocols, like those inflicted on trauma survivor Tracie Stafford at Los Angeles International Airport recently, strip me of any dignity.

When I step through the scanners I am stopped, patted down and rubbed head to toe with wipes. Explaining that I am wearing the prostheses elicits an averted gaze and a request for a supervisor.

If I put the silicon devices inside my carry on, it is emptied with the contents on the counter top for investigation. When I put the them in a tray by themselves, they are turned and squeezed and rubbed and pressed and held up to the light.

At least I know to allow an extra 10 to 30 minutes so I won’t miss the flight.


Sally Cook, Camarillo

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