Federal judge approves sex change for convicted murderer

Wes from Reason to Stand send me this disturbing story from ABC News.

Excerpt: (links removed)

A federal judge ordered Massachusetts prison officials today to providesexual reassignment surgery for a convicted murderer, calling it the only way to correct the “prolonged violation” of the inmate’s Constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

Michelle Kosilek, who was born Robert, had filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, seeking an injunction that would require prison officials to grant her the sexual reassignment surgery that was recommended by prison doctors as treatment for her gender identity disorder. Robert Kosilek was convicted in the 1990 strangulation death of his wife, Cheryl.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Michelle Kosilek, who lives as a woman in a male prison facility, had experienced “intense mental anguish,” and said there was a “serious medical need” for her to have the procedure.

“It has long been well-established that it is cruel for prison officials to permit an inmate to suffer unnecessarily from a serious medical need,” the judge wrote in his 128-page decision.

He called it “unusual” to treat a prisoner with gender identity disorder differently “than the numerous inmates suffering from more familiar forms of mental illness.”

[…]Kosilek first sued the Department of Corrections in 2000. Two years later, Wolf ruled she should receive treatment for gender identity disorder, which included hormones. Kosilek sued again in 2005, again asking for gender reassignment surgery.

Frances Cohen, an attorney for Kosilek, told the Associated Press the judge made a courageous and thoughtful ruling.

I wonder if Frances Cohen and the judge are going to be paying for the surgery? No – that’s for the taxpayers to handle, I guess.

This tomfoolery is actually not unprecedented. Sex changes are taxpayer-funded in Ontario, Canada – where they have single-payer health care. And criminals are all eligible for sex changes in the UK under their NHS socialized medicine system. Here’s a recent case from last year, where a convicted killer is getting a sex change, courtesy of the NHS. (Which means the UK taxpayer)

One thought on “Federal judge approves sex change for convicted murderer”

  1. WinteryKnight — I could be wrong, but I guess that the reason you find this disturbing while I do not has to do with our views about the fundamental nature of gender identity. If one believes that gender identity is fundamentally and primarily biological, not merely psychological, something that usually cannot be effectively treated without changing the person’s body, and someone’s body doesn’t match their sense of gender identity, then it’s easy to read this story and not find it disturbing. Gender identity disorder is just one more medical condition an inmate can have and it would be arbitrary to provide treatment for all other conditions but not this one.

    I assume you agree that prisoners are entitled to some standard of medical care while incarcerated, so presumably you find this disturbing because you don’t see this as a bona fide medical issue. If one believes that people can choose which gender they identity with and gender identity disorder is nothing more than a sinful fetish or a perversion, a condition which might warrant therapy but not surgery, then it makes perfect sense why one would find this story disturbing.


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