Monday, April 4, 2011

Top Doctors Opt Out of Airport Security Scans

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, takes a pat-down instead of going through a scanner when he travels, reports CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.  Dr. Brawley says he's concerned about whether the machines are calibrated and inspected properly.

Dr. Karl Bilimoria, a surgical oncology fellow,  told Cohen, "I'm a doctor at M.D. Anderson, and I don't want radiation if I can avoid it." M.D. Andreson is one of the top cancer treatment hospitals in the world.

"I do whatever I can to avoid the scanner," says Dr. Len Lichtenfeld another doctor affiliated with the the American Cancer Society. "This is a total body scan -- not a dental or chest X-ray," he wrote to Cohen. "Total body radiation is not something I find very comforting based on my medical knowledge."

Another doctor who opts for the pat-down is Dr. Dong Kim, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' neurosurgeon.

"There is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation," says  Kim, chair of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School. "Each exposure is additive, and there is no need to incur any extra radiation when there is an alternative."

So did Cohen find any doctors who said the airport scan radiation was no big deal? Oh yeah. Among others, the television talking head doctors.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta told Cohen he hasn't opted out thus far. Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of a new show on Headline News, called the amount of radiation "inconsequential."

The choice is yours, follow the lead of the top cancer specialists in the world and get the pat down, or go with the take of televisons' talking head doctors and radiate yourself.



  1. "There is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation"

    We are sure Ann Coulter would not mind being scanned at the airport 30-50 times a day.

  2. At my age (65) I've had more exposures to radiation than I can remember -- all of them medically necessary. And, as I continue on toward the grave, I expect even more medically required exposures to radiation (e.g. a CAT scan).

    Why should I add a full-body exposure to radiation to this already significant life-time accumulation of radiation exposures.

  3. If it is so safe, EVERY TSA person should go through every day, from the very TOP on down.
    Put these things in the Capital Building, let CONGRESS prove their safety.
    "Integrity, Team Spirit, Innovation" is sewn around the border of the newest TSA patch.
    Have you EVER seen an organization that had to SEW A REMINDER not to STEAL, LIE, and CHEAT on their own shoulders!!!! They STEAL from the "confiscated" items, BACK-STAB the PASSENGERS (and their CO-Workers) and "INNOVATIVELY" CHEAT on their own tests.
    Supervisors PADDING their hours to make house payments.
    Supervisors stealing from the confiscated items.
    Supervisors staggering in drunk.
    Supervisors yelling all NON-Christians should leave the country
    Supervisors expressing their desire to see certain U.S. Senators DEAD

  4. Watch out for bait and switch by letting you think you're going through the regular device and at the last second being pulled out of line and told to "go around here." I didn't know I was in a Rapescam until agents were blocking my way out and telling me to turn to the side and put my hands up. It was too late to tell these f**king scum I'd rather get groped than x-rayed. You need to have the option to opt out and it was done without my consent - like a rape. Meanwhile all the political scum get walked around while regular folks get x-rayed - as if Japan's fallout wasn't enough.

    This was my last straw. I can honestly say I hate my government and they don't represent me,

  5. "There is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation"

    "There is really no absolutely safe dose of government" Especially divisions of "gov" that purportedly seek to "protect" you.

    If the next 9/11 requires a plane to be "hijacked" HHS and TSA will be co-opted into allowing it.

    Just take a look at 9/11

  6. Within 10-15 years the higher rate of TSA employees with cancer rates will expose the truth. These people are literally killing themselves daily for $12/hr. I'd feel sorry for them but they get what they deserve for working against freedom. Enjoy chemo you fascist bastards!

  7. The intrusive searches by the government - which is EXACTLY a strip search - and the option to have strangers touch your and your 14+ year old children's genitals and breasts - is definitely a violation of the 4th amendment. Police cannot strip search without probable cause or a warrant. The "reasonableness" of the search is clearly not there. If everyone was naked, then perhaps reasonableness would be upheld. The "rules" were just created by a government bureaucracy that has overstepped its bounds.

    In the US, there have been 0 people killed in 49 years by an airline passenger setting off a bomb. If these scanners "only" potentially kill 6 passengers a year based on about 700 million flights a year (the US 2010 passenger total is 629,457,532). Therefore, over a 49 year period we would expect 284 dead from scanners and 0 dead from airline passenger bombings. The risk does not match the intrusiveness and illegality of the scanners and sexual contact gropings. An analogy: The Supreme Court outlawed handgun bans in cities. Since people die every day from guns (12,000 a year, most via handgun), this risk is much higher. But, the risk did not outweigh the constitution. So I expect 0 deaths will not outweigh the constitution.

    What we need is for the airlines to offer a higher level of voluntary security. They can offer special flights where people can voluntarily subject themselves to strip searches and sexual groping. To conclude, the TSA will be brought under control and eliminate primary screenings that are illegal. When that happens, if you don't like the constitution, you don't have to fly. Take a bus or train.

  8. "There is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation"

    they why arent we all dead?

    thats nonsense. pure nonsense.

  9. "thats nonsense. pure nonsense."

    Did you actually read what he said? An isolated incident of exposure to radiation is not in and of itself unsafe at given levels. It doesn't mean you should regularly expose yourself to the stuff in concentrated quantities, like a full body scan.

  10. And I wore a front closure sports bra with 5 sets of hook and eyes - apparently that didn't count as wearing anything metal. And no one told me to close my eyes. And I don't know what I was exposed to. I don't know. But these machines are a miracle: I walked into one side a housewife and out the other with the conviction that I hate my government. Hate them. Well done Nazis! If I hate you, believe me, I understand why the Palestinians do.

  11. Edited out was the response of a physicist interviewed for the CNN story who chose radiation over the grope.

    The fact is, people who fly are exposed to a lot more radiation at high altitudes than in the airport. So if they're really concerned about radiation, they should not fly at all!

    I agree that TSA is a hoax. But let's not let disinfo distract us from the issue which is your constitutional right to be free from intrusive government searches.

  12. The post headline reads "Top Doctors". Do you go to your physicist for medical treatment?

  13. i opted for the pat down bec radiation is cumulative, plus (given the pat-down option)this full-body scan is an unnecessary risk. (you CAN opt out after they direct you the radiation! i did.)

    ALSO, why hate the govt over this? the govt didn't run planes into the trade center!

  14. I wasn't even told they were taking an image or giving me a radiation scan. They should explain to you what you are volunteering for and remind people that they can opt out. Of course the alternative gives you just as bad of an option, to get patted down. And they act like if it is a person of the same gender it's fine. As if there are no gay people in the world. As if there are no female perverts and sexual assaulters. As if child pedofiles prefer only the opposite sex child.