THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — By now, everybody and their neighbor have called for the Massachusetts judge’s head on a pike for ordering that a trans inmate get SRS (sex reassignment surgery) while in prison.
I’d like to remind everyone of this very simple fact: A doctor made a medical decision in the best interest of patient and a judge ordered that it be carried out. Do we really want open the door to second guessing the needs of patients receiving medical care at taxpayer expense? Mental patients at state hospitals? Veterans? People on Medicare? It’s a slippery slope, my friends. Open that door, marbles come pouring out.
Besides, health care costs at prisons are included in their budgets — it’s not like it is an unexpected surprise to them. Every day prison administrators face seemingly expensive health care-related decisions — ‘well, the death row inmate is in a lot of pain and needs a new hip, but he IS on death row, decisions, decisions . . .’ (this actually happened: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/17/ky-officials-torn-over-expensive-surgery-for-death/?page=all) the bottom line, withholding health care amounts to cruel and unusual punishment — cut corners here, we’ll pay more at the end of a lawsuit.
Now, I’m not advocate for letting inmates out of prison before they’ve paid their debt to society, but many an inmate have been released to contain costs. This is pretty much the choice here: pay for SRS or free a convicted murderer.
Thinking that the decision can be overturned is likely to backfire. Remember, Michelle Kosilek already has a conservative U.S. District judge on her side — I’m quite sure was an agonizing decision for the judge, Mark Wolf, to rule on the side of law here which leads me to believe there is no room for a different interpretation, because if there was, Wolf would have used it instead of having to see his face plastered on FOX-News affiliates.
Information on benefits gained by the transgender community from the court ruling: Transgender inmate’s court win is movement’s latest victory | OregonLive.com.
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