First Circuit Hears Inmate Sex Change Case

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Corrections says a murder convict doesn’t need a sex change to treat gender-identity disorder.

A department official told a federal appeals court Thursday that prison officials have provided adequate treatment, including female hormones, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. He said only 5 percent of people with the disorder actually undergo sex-reassignment surgery and argued that it would pose security issues at the all-male prison.

Michelle Kosilek, born as Robert Kosilek, is currently serving a life sentence for killing spouse Cheryl Kosilek in 1990.

Kosilek’s attorney argued that multiple doctors have said surgery is needed.

In January, a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2012 ruling saying that it is Kosilek’s constitutional right to obtain treatment.

The full appeals court heard arguments in the case Thursday.

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