A federal judge on Tuesday ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born as a man but has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Robert Kosilek was convicted of murder in the killing of his wife in 1990.
Judge Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide the surgery for a transgender inmate.
Kosilek first sued the MassachusettsDepartment of Correction 12 years ago. Two years later, Judge Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder but stopped short of ordering surgery. Kosilek sued again in 2005, arguing that the surgery is a medical necessity.
In his ruling Tuesday, Judge Wolf found that surgery is the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek’s “serious medical need.”
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