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In recent years, transgendered men and women have made great strides when it comes to equal rights. As of this past Tuesday, an even bigger stride was made. Massachusetts Judge Mark Wolf set a huge precedent when he ordered a prison to perform a sex-reassignment surgery for convicted murderer, Michelle Kosilek. In 1990, when Michelle was named Robert, he was convicted of murdering his wife. Since receiving his sentencing, he’s been undergoing hormone therapy in prison.  The judge noted that the surgery was the only way to treat Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder. Kosilek previously tried to castrate herself, and has attempted suicide twice.  Many prisons already offer hormone treatments and psychotherapy for inmates with gender identity disorder. But Wolf is the first judge to order sex-reassignment surgery as a remedy.

Many people are up in arms. With this ruling comes the question of why allow this surgery at the expense of taxpayers?  Gender reassignment surgeries aren’t cheap. They can involve  several different treatments, including hormone therapy, but the most costly is a sex-change operation. In the United States a sex change operation can cost up to $20,000. But in other countries, you may end up paying just half of that.

U.S Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, vehemently believes that there should be a ban on the use of tax money to pay for the surgery for inmates. In 2008 he unsuccessfully filed a legislation asking for a ban.

“We have many big challenges facing us as a nation, but nowhere among those issues would I include providing sex change surgery to convicted murderers,” he said in a written statement. “I look forward to common sense prevailing and the ruling being overturned.”

As views about transgender people change, it seems that the laws are gradually changing with it as well. Do you feel that a prisoner should be able to receive sex-reassignment surgery?

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  • Zander

    inmates should not have access to free srs when i know plenty of non-criminals who can’t even get it themselves. bs.

  • au napptural

    I just want to take time to rebuke this foolishness! I just cannot with this article. If ever the gov’t uses my taxes to pay for some inmate’s elective surgery, we will surely have problems. I’m not even going to deal with the fact this person is a killer or is currently in prison. I’ll just say if the gov’t is going to make any new allowances in medical care for the imprisoned it should be for disease prevention. People are going in healthy and coming out with HIV, all manners of STDs, TB, and all sorts of communicable diseases. This is a health risk for the public, b/c they spread the diseases when they come out. But even if a prisoner has a life sentence, the prison has a duty to be safe and healthy enough to dwell in. The punishment is incarceration, not death, until the dealthy penalty is given and enforced. Further, let’s not forget not everyone in the prison is guilty.