The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an inmate who has been fighting to receive sex-reassignment surgery while in prison.

After a 3-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the surgery is necessary and that Massachusetts had violated Michelle Kosilek's constitutional rights by refusing to provide the procedure, the full court reversed itself on appeal, saying that Kosilek had failed to demonstrate that denying the surgery was a violation of her constitutional rights.

The justices did not comment in allowing the appeals court ruling to stand.

Born Robert, Kosilek, 65, is serving a life sentence in an all-male prison in Norfolk for the 1990 murder of her wife Cheryl.

Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which is working as appellate counsel in the case, said in a statement that the high court's action was “terrible and inhumane.”

“But it is just a matter of time before some prison somewhere is required to provide essential surgery, meeting the minimal constitutional obligations of adequate medical care for transgender people in prison,” Levi said.

While in prison, Kosilek has twice attempted to take her own life and once attempted to castrate herself, according to her lawyers.