WCVB in Boston reported today that a Massachusetts Judge has declared that the Massachusetts taxpayers must pay for sex change surgery for Michelle Kosilek (formerly Robert Kosilek). Michael Kosilek killed his wife in 1990 and was sentenced to life in prison.
The article reports:
Kosilek first sued the Massachusetts Department of Correction 12 years ago. Two years later, 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 126-page ruling Tuesday, Wolf found that surgery is the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek and that “there is no less intrusive means to correct the prolonged violation of Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care.”
Prison officials have repeatedly cited security risks in the case, saying that allowing Kosilek to have the surgery would make her a target for sexual assaults by other inmates.
But Wolf, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, found that the security concerns are “either pretextual or can be dealt with.” He said it would be up to prison officials to decide how and where to house Kosilek after the surgery.
I can see the next step coming. Kosilek will sue after the surgery to be put in a separate unit because he feels threatened.
I think the thing that bothers me the most about this is that if Kosilek were any place other than jail, he would be expected to find a way to pay for the surgery himself. Because he is currently living at taxpayers’ expense (don’t forget that he is in jail because he killed his wife), the surgery is free to him. This passed ridiculous a long time ago.