by Marilyn Eshikena •
When convicted murderer Robert Kosilek sued the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for refusing to provide major sex reassignment surgery to treat his severe gender identity disorder, Candace Ogonowski created the petition “Stop the taxpayer funded sex change operation” on change.org. Despite the petition and the defense arguments during Kosilek’s trial this January, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the state is compelled to provide Kosilek the sex change he desires.
Although the specifics of the Kosilek case yielded talking points regarding justice in the realm of medical procedures for inmates, the government had refused Medicaid payments for surgeries deemed medically unnecessary until now. The new ruling, removing sex reassignment surgeries from the list of Medicaid ineligible procedures, came as a result of a 74 year-old man’s request for genital excavation in order to obtain the semblance of a vagina. Although there is no general consensus among medical professionals regarding the necessity of sex reassignment surgery to treat gender identity disorder, this ruling may serve to validate this procedure. But as many frowned at the initial Kosilek ruling, there are a number of taxpayers that will not find this development favorable.