So Michelle Kosilek after winning a victory for access to medical care under the 8th amendment, has had her win stayed, by the same justice (Mark Wolf) who originally ruled in her favor.
I’ve heard a lot of commentary from some supposed allies (Barney Frank for one) who’ve displayed some atrocious and transphobic opinions on the matter of whether Michelle has a right to surgery, on the basis of her crimes denying her the right to medical care.
Now I have a problem with this on two fronts, firstly that its a denial of care to a transperson, irrespective of their character. She is someone who violently murdered her spouse and deserves to spend the rest of her days in prison, but she also has a right under the 8th amendment to the appropriate medical care. I would argue that a serial rapist/murderer should get heart surgery or other life saving procedures they needed, because thats what our justice system demands. However because its a transperson, their lifesaving procedures don’t matter…There are hundreds of transpeople in prison who are denied care because its politically acceptable to be transphobic in this area, even if you are a progressive democrat.
The second front I have issue with is that it sets a precedent outside the prison system, that if the government rejects the reality of the lifesaving nature of GRS, and effectively argues that its cosmetic or unnecessary, then what’s to stop employers and insurers from claiming the same thing, using the court decisions as the basis for rejection.
Maybe the later aspect is a bit paranoid, but given the behaviour of supposedly transgender allies in this case, and those women and men who vitally need this care in prison and are denied it, forgive me if I’m more than a little wary…