“There is a strong medical consensus that health care related to gender transition is medically necessary for transgender people. We are heartened to see the court recognize that transgender people who are incarcerated are entitled to the same access to medically necessary services that all people in prison should receive.” – Kristina Wertz, Director of Policy and Programs

From the Associated Press / HuffingtonPost:

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender inmate.

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.”

Transgender Law Center has worked with prison and police departments to encourage fair and equal treatment of transgender inmates and detainees. We will continue to advocate for the coverage of all medically necessary care for all transgender people.