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John_Browning
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06 Sep 2012, 10:14 pm

BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge has ordered Massachusetts officials to pay for a convicted murderer's sex change operation, ruling that the state had violated the inmate's constitutional rights in denying the procedure.

In a 126-page order issued in Boston, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf found in favor of Michelle Kosilek, who sued the Massachusetts Department of Correction 12 years ago to force it to provide him the surgery while imprisoned.

http://news.yahoo.com/federal-judge-orders-massachusetts-pay-killers-sex-change-142007673.html

Well...it's a good thing that money is just lying around and isn't needed for anything important! :evil: :evil: It's bad enough that they get organ transplants. :evil:


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06 Sep 2012, 11:28 pm

Judge Wolf does not say where the Constitution says anything about sex.

I can think of no right to elective surgery.

This opens the way for half of lifers to be made over into Barbies.

Federal Judges have been showing a fondness for sex, particularly sex not involving one man and one woman.

One was getting done on the bench by his penis pump, and when challenged, said he was going to marry it.

Another set aside the vote of the People of California, saying Homosexuals could do anything they wanted, and objecting was a hate crime.

As they are appointed for life, nothing can be done, but the Constitution does say the People can change the form of Government at any time, by a majority vote.

One vote, they and all their works are gone, we start over.

I like the basic form, just an updated United States of America, MK II.

We have to do something or we will be paying for spousal benefits for farm animals. If marriage is just about who you are having sex with, domestic animals fit the description.

Sex changes, the right to marry, to have a nice little cottage cell with picket fence, will surely change the prison system.

Of course with a sex change, Michelle should be sent to a Womans Prison.

Can I get 50+% for sanity? Equal rights for people who are not in prison, like the Taxpayer paying us as much as they spend on prisons? Food, shelter, Health Care, Education? That a Citizen is a person who was born here, who's parents were subject to the United States?

Under, Provide for the common welfare, we who's parents were subject to the jusridiction of the United States, and who are not in prison, deserve the equal protection of the laws.

Those in prison do lose Civil Rights. They cannot vote, buy guns, and a lot of other things.

Those who are here without legal permission, are criminals, with even less rights than legal visitors. They are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, their children are subject to the jurisdiction that their parents came from. There are fifteen to twenty million of them.

The Government has failed in its Constitutional Duty to protect the borders, and regulate immigration.

When in the course of human events, that the People shall become dissatisfied with the behavior of Government, it is their right and duty to replace it, with a system that does satisfy their vision of good government, of, for, and by The People.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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07 Sep 2012, 12:32 am

Surprising, given that there has been a ban on the use of federal funds for sex reassignment since the 70's (i.e. Medicare, "welfare" generally, etc.). This case would be the exception rather than the rule.

The more common problem is MTF transsexuals surprisingly frequently placed with men in prisons and jails where they tend to be repeatedly raped. OTOH, rape in prisons is so rampant that rape of men is actually statistically more common in society as a whole than rape of women.

While funding surgery is debatable, what usually happens is that transsexuals in prison are not allowed hormones, even if they don't have gonads any more (I recall one case an inmate auto-castrated and was denied). That is a health issue -- with no sex hormones (either one will do) your bones eventually turn to mush along with other health problems. But for some reason informing those in charge of the medical facts doesn't often help, which I think indicates a motivation that is based more on feeling than logic. I think that is what made officials fire the doctor that's mentioned in the article.

In fact, the ban from the 70's happened because someone wanted it and hired the most well known anti-trans activist there was back then (Janice Raymond) to write a report on which to justify the decision. And the Johns Hopkins trans program was terminated by replacing the head of it with someone who also had clear anti-trans views. A common pattern with such material; don't want to be confused with facts. And that makes me even more amazed that the inmate's appeal succeeded.



John_Browning
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07 Sep 2012, 1:19 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
While funding surgery is debatable, what usually happens is that transsexuals in prison are not allowed hormones, even if they don't have gonads any more (I recall one case an inmate auto-castrated and was denied). That is a health issue -- with no sex hormones (either one will do) your bones eventually turn to mush along with other health problems. But for some reason informing those in charge of the medical facts doesn't often help, which I think indicates a motivation that is based more on feeling than logic. I think that is what made officials fire the doctor that's mentioned in the article.

That creates a whole other can of worms over whether or not to cave to manipulative behavior from psychopaths and narcissists. If you cut out your sex hormone-producing glands, then be prepared to live with the ramifications- in this case, natural selection.


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07 Sep 2012, 12:03 pm

First, this is not elective surgery. Sex reassignment surgery is well recognized in both medicine and law as a proper therapeutic approach to the treatment of gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. As such, it can be described as a medically necessary procedure.

Second, sex reassignment surgery is medically contraindicated unless the patient has been living as the opposite gender for a prescribed period of time. Which means that there must have been a female identified prisoner in a federal prison that was otherwise exclusively male.

Third, federal prisoners are guaranteed food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Because of their incarceration they are entirely dependent upon the state to provide these necessaities of life, which they cannot otherwise obtain. This puts them in a different legal relationship with the state than a person who is at liberty.

It is very easy for the armchair jurist to sit back and rubbish this decision. But if you actually look at the facts, and the legal relationships involved, it takes on a far more nuanced circumstance.


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07 Sep 2012, 2:45 pm

Dear Visagrunt, I respect your opinions and viewpoint.
However, every single state prison has over-crowding, inadequate supervision, inadequate BASIC medical and dental care, inadequate psychological/psychiatric care/counseling, and much, much more, all due to lack of funds.
In addition, crimes are being committed by former inmates who were released early due to over-crowding, which is, of course, caused by lack of funds.
Personally, since there are prisoners in need of basic humane care,I feel that this individual's expensive surgery and follow-up care and counseling must go to the back of the line.
Simply because all of the money needed by one person could help so many more people, and inmates are people, who we cannot hope to rehabilitate if we cannot even take care of their dental abscesses.

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07 Sep 2012, 2:54 pm

visagrunt wrote:
First, this is not elective surgery. Sex reassignment surgery is well recognized in both medicine and law as a proper therapeutic approach to the treatment of gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. As such, it can be described as a medically necessary procedure.

The whole concept is bollocks.

Cosmetic surgery to correct a deformity or a defect is one thing, but to have one's body surgically altered merely for the fact that one is not happy with his or body is elective surgery.

(Edited by Fnord to remove incorrect statement)


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Last edited by Fnord on 07 Sep 2012, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

visagrunt
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07 Sep 2012, 2:54 pm

Sylkat wrote:
Dear Visagrunt, I respect your opinions and viewpoint.
However, every single state prison has over-crowding, inadequate supervision, inadequate BASIC medical and dental care, inadequate psychological/psychiatric care/counseling, and much, much more, all due to lack of funds.
In addition, crimes are being committed by former inmates who were released early due to over-crowding, which is, of course, caused by lack of funds.
Personally, since there are prisoners in need of basic humane care,I feel that this individual's expensive surgery and follow-up care and counseling must go to the back of the line.
Simply because all of the money needed by one person could help so many more people, and inmates are people, who we cannot hope to rehabilitate if we cannot even take care of their dental abscesses.

Sylkat


Are you suggesting that the state can shed itself of its legal obligations to prisoners by failing to spend the amount of money that is required? All of the things that you cite are perfectly true--but not one of them is a justification for the state failing to supply something that it is legally obliged to provide. If the legislature reduced the prison budgets to zero, would the government then be justified in saying, "we can no longer feed prisoners?" Of course not.

In administrative law, courts have several powers. They can declare an action of the state to be invalid (usually by reason of unconstitutionality, insufficient statutory authority or a failure to observe the rules of natural justice). But the courts can also order the state to take an action that the state is legally obliged to undertake. In legal terms this is called mandamus.

Now the court cannot usurp the power of the legislature to appropriate money--that is clear. But the courts can--and should--enforce the Rule of Law, and individual litigants are always free to challenge the failure of the state to discharge its statutory and constitutional obligations. It is then up to the legislature to ensure that the government of the state complies with the order of the court--and appropriate the money to do so if that is required.


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07 Sep 2012, 4:28 pm

Great, now this story will marginalize transgender people even more. It seems that the media loves stories of transgender people in a questionable light. I never see stories of honorable and decent transfolk. It further creates a stigma that "only crazy/bad/delusional/violent/horrible" people are the ones who are transgender.

At the same time, tough luck taxpayers. If you don't want your taxpayer money to pay for medical care you find "controversial" then don't lock up people for life in a prison where they have no opportunity to make a living to pay for it themselves.



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07 Sep 2012, 4:33 pm

I would have written WTF rather than WTH.

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07 Sep 2012, 4:35 pm

I have a problem with the fact that this is being done for a murderer in prison when there are so many more deserving people in this country who will never be able to have this surgery because they can't afford it and aren't willing to murder someone to get it. It just seems so wrong.

Hmmm, this will set precedence. I wonder if this is a feature of Obamacare.


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07 Sep 2012, 5:16 pm

Fnord wrote:
The whole concept is bollocks.

Cosmetic surgery to correct a deformity or a defect is one thing, but to have one's body surgically altered merely for the fact that one is not happy with his or body is elective surgery.

(Edited by Fnord to remove incorrect statement)


Why do you draw this uncritical distinction. If you are prepared to accept that correcting a deformity is validly medically necessary, then why are you incapable of understanding that the presence of inconsistent genitalia and secondary sex characteristics is just as much a deformity in a person who is diagnosed with gender dysphoria? You seem to imply that sex reassignment surgery is undertaken on some whim of the patient. If this is, indeed, your belief you are at best sadly misinformed and quite possibility wantonly ignorant.

It's a damn good thing you don't practice medicine.

unduki wrote:
I have a problem with the fact that this is being done for a murderer in prison when there are so many more deserving people in this country who will never be able to have this surgery because they can't afford it and aren't willing to murder someone to get it. It just seems so wrong.

Hmmm, this will set precedence. I wonder if this is a feature of Obamacare.


With respect, I think you have it backwards. What is wrong is that the person who is not in prison has no access to this therapy. The proper public policy response is not to deny necessary medical care to prisoners because people at liberty do not have access to it--rather it is to ensure that every person, whether at liberty or imprisoned has access to medical care.


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07 Sep 2012, 7:39 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Fnord wrote:
The whole concept is bollocks. Cosmetic surgery to correct a deformity or a defect is one thing, but to have one's body surgically altered merely for the fact that one is not happy with his or body is elective surgery.

Why do you draw this uncritical distinction?

If a convicted felon feels that he must have penile enlargement surgery because he does not feel like a man otherwise, should he have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

If a convicted felon feels that she should have her arms surgically altered to resemble eagle's wings because she feels that she is a bird born in a human body, should she have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

Reductio ad Absurdium strikes again!


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07 Sep 2012, 7:45 pm

Fnord wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
Fnord wrote:
The whole concept is bollocks. Cosmetic surgery to correct a deformity or a defect is one thing, but to have one's body surgically altered merely for the fact that one is not happy with his or body is elective surgery.

Why do you draw this uncritical distinction?

If a convicted felon feels that he must have penile enlargement surgery because he does not feel like a man otherwise, should he have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

If a convicted felon feels that she should have her arms surgically altered to resemble eagle's wings because she feels that she is a bird born in a human body, should she have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

Reductio ad Absurdium strikes again!


Transgenderism is a matter of brain wiring as demonstrated by science.

Your analogy doesn't work.

According to your logic, no inmate with mental health issues should ever receive care at "taxpayer's expense" since "brain wiring" is apparently completely negligible and not worth fretting over.


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techn0teen
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07 Sep 2012, 8:14 pm

Fnord wrote:
If a convicted felon feels that he must have penile enlargement surgery because he does not feel like a man otherwise, should he have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

If a convicted felon feels that she should have her arms surgically altered to resemble eagle's wings because she feels that she is a bird born in a human body, should she have the surgery performed at the taxpayers' expense?

Reductio ad Absurdium strikes again!


Based on these ridiculous and out-of-bound analogies, it is obvious you have no respect, empathy, nor knowledge of the plights that transgender people go through. This infuriates me as a person with transgenderism that our real pain and suffering are seen as simple delusions and child's play.

People who feel like they need penile enlargement surgery to "be a man" or surgeries to be another species are isolated incidents where the little to no evidence exists of a non-mental cause. Transgenderism is an almost universal condition that strikes every culture, nation, creed, religion, and race. And just a little bit of research into the topic has revealed there are physical/physiological reasons that transgenderism exists (brain structure difference, etc). There is no comparison.

In summary: Comparing odd anecdotes and examples against a condition that has tons of medical evidence for existing is a leap of logic, don't you think? Has the "changing into a bird" example really happened? Requesting a sex change in prison has happened many times.

Whether the taxpayer's need to pay for this surgery (or any type of expensive, controversial, and intrusive medical care) is another question. But by trying to make transgenderism seem like something ridiculous and unnecessary only tells me you don't have really good reasons for defending your point. And so you try to take transgenderism medically illegitimate.

At the same time, I have a small, and very possibly misplaced suspicion, that this person might claim having transgenderism to try to distance herself from the crime. Trying to make herself "seem like a new person". I really hope that's not the case.



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07 Sep 2012, 8:53 pm

There are many men and women in America's prison system who are physically ill.
They need dental, optical,psychological, orthopedic, and STD care.
This individual is either desperately unhappy, or highly manipulative, but is not in a life-threatening or contagious state, as many inmates are.
A horrible case in San Diego, a male inmate was documented with many complaints of pain, finally swelling and obvious systemic illness, died a terrible, painful death, with obvious inadequate pain treatment, from untreated testicular cancer...this takes priority, in my mind.
Until physically sick and suffering and frequently contagious inmates are properly treated, non life-threatening disorders and conditions should not have precedence.
We still have men and women in our system who are functionally illiterate...without testing, no one knows if there is a severe vision problem.
Improving the life of an individual with Gender re-assessment surgery seems less critical to me than diagnosing, treating (glasses), and teaching him to read.
This poor guy who is blind as a bat, so to speak can then have a chance at rehabilitation.

Sylkat