back to article US immigration cavity search ends in agony

US immigration officials insisted the sufferer of an anal infection remove a small piece of medical thread which was being used by doctors to treat the condition. The man required treatment under general anaesthetic as a result. The man had an anal fistula, which is a painful channel that can develop deep into the anus, caused …


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  1. Charles Spalton

    Adds a new horror to air travel

    I wonder what sort of threat they thought a small piece of thread posed?

    So before they performed the medical procedure on him they refused to allow the gentleman entry to the US, presumably on the grounds that this unknown item might represent some sort of narcotic or terrorist threat. However, they WERE more than happy to let him get back on a plane home without discovering if their perceived threat was a danger while in-flight. Even though there would almost certainly be US citizens on that flight. An interesting reflection on the authorities' interests, that.

    Additionally, if the airport doctor didn't know what the item was, would removing it in ignorance without even seeking additional advice (or for that matter contacting the victim's doctor) constitute medical malpractice?

  2. David

    Could have been worse!

    They could have lighted the blue taper and stood well back!

  3. Matt Eagles


    I remember being advised to carry a letter from my Doctor explaining the likely metal detector response to the steel plate in my arm when travelling overseas. The letter cost me £20 and I've never set off a single airport metal detector. I was rather irrated until I read this story.

  4. Tom


    Ever since GWB got his knickers in a twist about all the bad terrorists out there, travel to the US of A got a real pain in the Ass, with anal rules (pun intended) and regulations that visitors had to endure.

    But having a traveler suffer injury simply because the Immigration officials (and apparently the airport doctors as well) don't have a clue about specific medical treatments carried in other western countries is beyond believe.

    The immigration officer needs to go back into training to learn what common courtesy is all about and that quack .. ehhm doctor at the airport need to go back and learn about medicine.

    All I can say is, welcome to the "Land of the not-so-free"

  5. Richard Russell

    Letters from the doc

    I imagine that any self-respecting suicide bomber or serious drug-smuggler would also be capable of writing a letter from their "doctor". Are doctors now going to be hassled by foreign immigration officials to corroborate the authenticity of such letters? In which case, why bother with a letter at all?

  6. Mike Rodgers

    This truly embarrasses me to think we've gotten so stupid

    But I do have a couple of questions:

    1. What, or why, was he being so "thoroughly" investigated? What did he do or represent to be considered such a threat that so invasive an inspection needed to be done?

    2. Why in the HELL didn't he have a deservedly self-righteous fit and insist on being seen or attended by another, hopefully competent doctor?

    3. What restitution is being provided to him? Medical expenses, financial amends..., anything? Or just a "Hey, oh well, welcome to the US!"

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