The Massachusetts Department of
Correction (DOC) announced on Friday that it will appeal a ruling
ordering prison officials to provide gender reassignment surgery to a
Michelle Kosilek sued the state for not
providing the surgery.
In a 2-1 ruling handed down two weeks
ago, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston found that the
surgery is necessary and that the state violated Kosilek's
constitutional rights by refusing to provide her with the surgery.
The state argued that Kosilek had
received proper treatment while in prison, including female hormones,
laser hair removal and psychotherapy.
“While we acknowledge the legitimacy
of a gender identity disorder diagnosis, DOC's appeal is based on the
lower court's significant expansion of the standard for what
constitutes adequate care under the Eighth Amendment, and on
substantial safety concerns regarding Ms. Kosilek's post-surgery
officials said in a statement Friday.
The DOC is asking the full 6-member
appeals court to review the case.
Born Robert, Michelle Kosilek, 64, is
serving a life sentence at an all-male prison in Norfolk for the 1990
murder of her wife Cheryl.
While in prison, Kosilek has twice
attempted to take her own life. She also attempted to castrate