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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 1,360
Sponsored by: The Diabetes Site

An estimated 350,000 people in the United States use insulin pumps. These lifesaving devices replace the need for frequent injections by delivering insulin through the pump. It works 24-hours, 7-days-a-week to keep glucose levels under control.

Insulin pumps are effectively part of the body of a person with diabetes. People sleep with them and exercise with them. There are waterproof models that allow for swimming and bathing without disconnecting the device. So, of course, people will travel with the pumps as well, but a recent Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedure change is making that needlessly complicated.

Previously any passenger for any reason was allowed to request a pat-down search at security checkpoints. Many people with insulin pumps have opted for this choice, as the devices should not go through x-ray machines and research on the safety of the new AIT scanners is inconclusive. But now, TSA officers have the right to deny pat-down requests "if warranted by security considerations." Refusal to go through a scanner allows the TSA to prevent passengers from boarding their flights.

Only a tiny fraction of the 318 million Americans wear insulin pumps, and far fewer take a plane on any given day. The combination of the relative rarity of an insulin pump with the TSA's abysmal turnover rate, 7 or 8% among full-time officers and 20% among part-time, means that many agents may not have encountered an insulin pump before.

And now the TSA's new policy allows them to force people with pumps through potentially harmful scanners.

When the memo detailing the policy change was released, it gave no reason for the TSA's shift in protocol. The TSA said in a statement that most passengers won't be affected by the change: "This will occur in a very limited number of circumstances where enhanced screening is required."

But insulin pump wearers ARE affected. And we have a right to keep our equipment safe from ignorant TSA officers who might deny us a pat-down.

Tell the TSA Administrator to reinstate the opt-out option so diabetics with insulin pumps can travel safely while protecting their life-saving equipment.

Sign Here






To TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger,

I am writing to express my concern and disagreement with your recent policy change which allows TSA officers to deny pat-down requests at checkpoints "if warranted by security considerations."

The TSA's statement that, "this will occur in a very limited number of circumstances where enhanced screening is required," shows a lack of empathy and awareness of the diversity of the traveling public, especially those who rely upon delicate medical devices to survive.

Only a tiny fraction of the 318 million Americans wear insulin pumps, and far fewer take a plane on any given day. The combination of the relative rarity of an insulin pump with the TSA's abysmal turnover rate, 7 or 8% among full-time officers and 20% among part-time, means that many agents may not have encountered an insulin pump before.

In the past, any passenger for any reason was allowed to request a pat-down search at security checkpoints. Many people with insulin pumps have opted for this choice, as the devices should not go through x-ray machines and research on the safety of the new AIT scanners is inconclusive. This is a perfectly legitimate reason to refuse to go through a scanner, but your new policy takes away our rights to be assured a pat-down. Refusal to go through a scanner allows the TSA to prevent passengers from boarding their flights.

Must we choose between our lives and the freedom to fly?

Please, reverse your stance on the opt-out protocols so diabetics with insulin pumps can travel safely while protecting their life-saving equipment.

Thank you,

Petition Signatures


Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 17, 2018 Nancy Irvine
Apr 17, 2018 Brenda Cruise
Apr 17, 2018 Maryann Mercer As a type 1 diabetic, I need my insulin. There is no reason why pump wearers cannot be patted down. It is criminal to forbid it!
Apr 16, 2018 Maria Smith
Apr 16, 2018 Jennifer Johnson
Apr 16, 2018 Suzette Shoulders I have friends who love to travel who wear the insulin pumps, and I know how important it is to their health and lives to be able to have their pumps in perfect use. Please reconsider this policy!
Apr 15, 2018 Patricia Gillespie
Apr 15, 2018 Virginia Lippert TSA needs to be educated about a lot of things. At the airport I was forced to open a sealed glucerna bottle so he could be "Sure it was what it said it was" I then threw it out.
Apr 14, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 Gail Grobbelaar
Apr 12, 2018 Andries Grobbelaar
Apr 12, 2018 Marilee House I realize the TSA has a very difficult job however some medical equipment can be harmed going through screeners. Please find another way.
Apr 12, 2018 Denis Cole
Apr 11, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 11, 2018 amantha Honowitz
Apr 8, 2018 Angela Tafoya
Mar 31, 2018 Susan Fitch Need to revise policy to exempt Continuous Glucose Monitors, too!
Mar 30, 2018 Elizabeth Moreno These devices cost several thousand dollars, and it is unlikely that health insurance will foot the bill for a replacement. The new policy, as currently, creates a heavy burden on the patient of a costly chronic disease.
Mar 30, 2018 Barbara Tomlinson
Mar 30, 2018 Gail Deutsch
Mar 30, 2018 Brandon Juhl
Mar 30, 2018 Josephine Polifroni
Mar 30, 2018 Robyn de
Mar 30, 2018 Lyssa Twomey
Mar 30, 2018 nicholas merry
Mar 30, 2018 Susan Pizza TSA you are putting diabetics lives at risk. Shameful.
Mar 30, 2018 Denise Schaff
Mar 30, 2018 Debbie Craine
Mar 30, 2018 Linda Tabb
Mar 30, 2018 CeCe Fuhrman
Mar 30, 2018 Michael Bradshaw
Mar 30, 2018 Alicja Bożek
Mar 30, 2018 Patricia A Baker RPh My husband relies on his pump to live. The pumps should not go through x-ray scanners. These devices are extremely expensive computerized pumps. Please reinstate the requested hand scan for people with pumps.
Mar 30, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 30, 2018 Dina Kovarik
Mar 30, 2018 John Confar Unless you've walked in their shoes, you will not understand their plight. It's about "Minority Rules" where a minority of people are doing stuff that's screwing it up for the rest of us...
Mar 30, 2018 Daniela Marrero
Mar 30, 2018 Virginia Olson
Mar 30, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 30, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 30, 2018 Julia Russo
Mar 30, 2018 Elisa Gonzalez
Mar 30, 2018 Charlie Daidone
Mar 30, 2018 Susan Daidone
Mar 30, 2018 Michelle Kaddy
Mar 30, 2018 Elizabeth Fuller The purpose of TSA's stated mission of protection is "to ensure freedom of movement for people." This includes the freedom of people whose lives depend on medical devices. It does not include endangering their lives by improper handling of that equipment.
Mar 30, 2018 Marion Miller
Mar 30, 2018 David Williams

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