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Author Topic: Court affirms Mass. murderer's right to get sex change in prison  (Read 672 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: January 22, 2014, 02:32:05 AM »

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A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a judge's ruling granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a transgender inmate serving a life sentence for a murder conviction, saying receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right that must be protected "even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox."

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in 2012 that the state Department of Correction must provide sex reassignment surgery for Michelle Kosilek, who was born as Robert Kosilek and is serving a life sentence for the killing of his wife in 1990.

The Department of Correction challenged the ruling at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Its lawyers argued Kosilek has received adequate treatment for gender identity disorder, including female hormone treatments, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. Prison officials said those treatments have eased the stress and anxiety felt by Kosilek, and they argued it was unnecessary to heed advice from independent medical experts who recommended the 64-year-old undergo the sex change surgery as the next step of treating her intense gender identity disorder.

The Department of Correction also argued prison officials were concerned about protecting Kosilek, who's in an all-male prison, from sexual assaults if she were allowed to complete her transformation into a woman.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/17/court-affirms-mass-murderer-right-to-get-sex-change-in-prison/

Your tax dollars hard at work again.
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Punisher
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 03:35:27 AM »

So, it's ok to fund this, but not the federal unemployment extension program? Our country is awesome!
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Ironrod
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 03:54:12 AM »

Speaking as a Masshole whose tax dollars will pay for this...I'm all for treating prisoners humanely and I favor rehabilitation over punishment, but this one's a head-scratcher.
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ATB
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 05:39:27 PM »

MEDICALLY NECESSARY!?
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Teggy
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM »

Yeah, this is a tough one. It's kind of hard for anyone without gender identity disorder to know what it's like. It does seem hard to call it "medically necessary". I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".
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TiLT
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 11:13:21 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM

I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".

In this case "medically necessary" means "necessary to preserve the person's human rights". There's room for debate in this area, but the idea is that denying a LGBT person a sex change is a breach of that person's rights. It's easier, cheaper and safer to go through with it, particularly since that person could drag in the UN and create diplomatic issues for the US.

Being imprisoned doesn't strip someone of their human rights, except for the right of movement. 
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Teggy
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 10:40:03 PM »

That makes no sense. The UN would not care about this case, nor would this person get worldwide support. If it was a case of civil rights they would say so.

And by the way the issue is not that the person is allowed to have the operation, it's that the state has to pay for it. A person outside of jail has to foot their own bill.
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ATB
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 11:33:48 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 22, 2014, 11:13:21 PM

Quote from: Teggy on January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM

I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".

In this case "medically necessary" means "necessary to preserve the person's human rights". There's room for debate in this area, but the idea is that denying a LGBT person a sex change is a breach of that person's rights. It's easier, cheaper and safer to go through with it, particularly since that person could drag in the UN and create diplomatic issues for the US.

That's some definition of human rights.

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Punisher
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 12:34:01 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on January 23, 2014, 10:40:03 PM

And by the way the issue is not that the person is allowed to have the operation, it's that the state has to pay for it. A person outside of jail has to foot their own bill.
This! I think this wouldn't even be much of an issue if he was paying for it himself... This person is 64 years old.. Why wasn't it a medical issue before now? Maybe he feels uncomfortable in his body, but tough.. Prison isn't built for comfort...
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Ironrod
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 02:19:53 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 22, 2014, 11:13:21 PM

Quote from: Teggy on January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM

I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".

In this case "medically necessary" means "necessary to preserve the person's human rights". There's room for debate in this area,

Indeed, and we don't know the court's reasoning from that link. I presume it's "medically necessary" for the prisoner's mental health, which is being given equal status with physical health.

Incidentally, the thread title misled me to think that s/he was a "mass murderer."
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TiLT
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 05:30:33 AM »

Quote from: ATB on January 23, 2014, 11:33:48 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 22, 2014, 11:13:21 PM

Quote from: Teggy on January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM

I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".

In this case "medically necessary" means "necessary to preserve the person's human rights". There's room for debate in this area, but the idea is that denying a LGBT person a sex change is a breach of that person's rights. It's easier, cheaper and safer to go through with it, particularly since that person could drag in the UN and create diplomatic issues for the US.

That's some definition of human rights.

This one, to be exact. As I said, it's a debatable issue since there's no clear consensus on the details. In this case a psychological analysis has seemingly concluded that the person needs the sex change to stay sane, and that denying him this right will cause both real risk of things like suicide, and could be considered denying an LGBT person the right to his sexual identity.

Prison is not a carte blanche for independent nations to strip someone of their human rights, or even of anything except the right of movement. The US takes things further than most civilized countries by taking away some people's right to live by executing them, but that's a different debate.
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