Man stopped at airport for having no fingerprints

A 62 year old man from Singapore was detained last year for an unusual condition: he had no fingerprints.  The man was taking the drug Xeloda for head and neck cancer.  Upon arriving at the airport, he was held for four hours from being unable to produce a fingerprint.

Capecitabine is a common cancer drug, routinely given to patients with head, neck and kidney cancers as well as lymphomas and leukemias. Doctors said very few patients temporarily lose their fingerprints while on Xeloda, but it does happen.

"Most patients will complain they're having difficulty holding things or sensing things," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, who was not linked to the case. "I've never had a patient running into a problem with police authorities, but this is not an exaggeration. It could actually happen."

Unlike most other countries, American immigration officials take two fingerprints from foreign visitors.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Geekazoid.

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I hope they don't do this to citizens of the US. I work with a law enforcement agency and I do not take this drug, but I do not have fingerprints. They can get 2 or 3 partials with the laser fingerprint machines, but they don't get even that much with ink. It is a natural condition.
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When I used to climb 5 days a week, I lost my fingerprints altogether. I always thought it would've been a good time to commit some crime. (Of course, I guess I could just wear gloves for the same effect.)
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This happened to Mother last year when we were flying in to Newark. She had just finished treatment for breast cancer and her fingerprints didn't match up to homeland security records. She was detained for several hours, but was eventually allowed to proceed after one of the officers on duty said his wife had had the same thing happen to her
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On a blog (like it is here), this is interesting. When it's reported all over the major news channels (like it has been the past week or so), one starts to wonder how such a near-inconsequential story gets picked up.
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