BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts prison officials on Friday said they will appeal a decision that would force them to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate serving a life sentence for murder.
The state Department of Correction said it will request a hearing by the full 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Michelle Kosilek.
Two weeks ago, a three-judge panel of the same court upheld a judge’s decision granting Kosilek’s request for the surgery. The rehearing would be before the full court of six justices.
The appeals court panel said receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right that must be protected “even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox.”
Michelle Kosilek was born Robert Kosilek and was convicted in the killing of spouse Cheryl Kosilek in 1990.
Kosilek sued, and after a lengthy legal battle, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in 2012 that the state Department of Correction must provide the surgery.
Prison officials argued that Kosilek had received adequate treatment for gender identity disorder, including female hormones, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. They also cited security concerns, saying they were concerned about protecting Kosilek from sexual assaults if she is allowed to complete her gender transition.
“While we acknowledge the legitimacy of a gender identity disorder diagnosis, DOC’s appeal is based on the lower court’s significant expansion of the standard for what constitutes adequate care under the Eighth Amendment, and on substantial safety concerns regarding Ms. Kosilek’s post-surgery needs,” the DOC said in a statement Friday.
Kosilek’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development