Hmmm, what to make of this. I know that a lot of commentators on the lovely Gender Trender site are applauding this decision, but it has wider implications. When you are in prison, your health care for all intents and purposes is at the discretion of the people running the prison, so while some will applaud this decision, it has the wider effect that doctors are no longer the ones able to make the decisions regarding the healthcare treatment of the prison population. Now I know some people will simply say “fuck ’em, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”, and there’s a logic to that that I get, that I completely understand, but we lock away these people because they’ve done something wrong. The punishment is being locked away from everyday society and having some rights removed. If Michelle Kosilek was beaten on a daily basis by other prisoners, you might say, that’s just part of life inside. You might also say the same if the beating was done by the prison staff. If she developed cancer, if she had a heart attack, would you just leave her in her cell because she’s in prison, or would you arrange the appropriate treatment? She committed a horrible crime of murdering her wife, there’s no arguing with the fact that she should be punished and locked away for a period of time determined by the courts, but let me pose this question. Say that was you in prison, and you developed cancer or suffered a heart attack, do you deserve not to receive medical treatment because your in prison? Yes, in America, you have to fund your own medical treatment through insurance, and if you’re trans you have to also pay for some things out of your own pocket as the insurance system won’t cover certain things, but if you’re in prison, your health treatment responsibilities are taken over by the prison system, and as such, the medical professionals should be the ones saying what the best medical course of treatment is, not a judge, they’ve done their bit in sentencing. Again, I’m betting a fair few people are still saying “fuck ’em, they got caught, they got sentenced”, in which case I’d suggest you move to a country that has that attitude in it’s droves, but unfortunately for you, the US military ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan, so you’ll have to find somewhere else to live. So my final question, a prisoner is in need of medical treatment, say cancer, heart attack etc, and they don’t get treatment as they’re in prison. There’s lots of people in prison that are actually innocent of the crimes they committed, and even if they’re guilty, how you treat them, says more about you than anything else. If we are a civilised nation(s), then we need to act in a civilised way. Punish the wrong-doers, but don’t stoop to their level, because no one wins then.
[FUCK YOU Kosilek!- GM] From the Boston Globe:
“A divided federal appeals court in Boston on Tuesday overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender Massachusetts prison inmate, convicted of committing a domestic murder, was entitled to taxpayer-funded sex change surgery.
The ruling by the First US Circuit Court of Appeals came after a 2012 ruling by US District Judge Mark Wolf, who ordered the surgery after finding that the state’s failure to provide it violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
In January, a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld Wolf’s 2012 decision, but the state of Massachusetts then asked for an en banc, or full bench, review, which led to Tuesday’s ruling.
The ruling came in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born Robert Kosilek. Kosilek is serving a life sentence for killing her wife, Cheryl Kosilek, in 1990.
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