BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A transgender inmate who won a court order for taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery will have to wait for that surgery.
In a hearing in U.S. District Court Tuesday, Judge Mark Wolf ruled Michelle Kosilek cannot have the operation until the state’s appeal is heard.
In September, Wolf ordered the state to provide sex-reassignment surgery, saying it is the only way to treat Kosilek’s “serious medical need.”
Kosilek was born male but has received hormone treatments and now lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Kosilek was named Robert when he was convicted in the 1990 murder of his wife Cheryl Kosilek.
In his September ruling, Wolf noted that Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder has caused Kosilek so much anguish that she has twice tried to commit suicide. Wolf said Kosilek “continues to suffer intense mental anguish” because she truly believes she is a woman trapped in a man’s body.
“That anguish alone constitutes a serious medical need,” Wolf wrote.
The Department of Correction has appealed Wolf’s order.
Kosilek also asked for the state to pay for additional hair-removal treatments.
Wolf denied that request Tuesday.
The 63-year-old Kosilek received seven electrolysis treatments in 2008.
Prison officials discontinued the treatments, saying her remaining hair could be removed by shaving or using depilatories.
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