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Massachusetts Appeals Court To Hear Inmate Sex Change Case

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Michelle Kosilek

Michelle Kosilek

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BOSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments from Massachusetts prison officials challenging a court order to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate serving a life sentence for murder.

Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, was convicted in the 1990 killing of spouse Cheryl Kosilek.

After a long legal battle, a federal judge ruled in 2012 that the state Department of Correction must provide the surgery to treat Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder.

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling in January, saying that receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right.

The state appealed. A hearing before the full court is scheduled Thursday.

Prison officials say Kosilek has received adequate treatment for gender-identity disorder, including female hormones, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. They’ve also cited security concerns.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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