GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY IN PRISONS: HOW THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT GUARANTEES MEDICAL TREATMENTS NOT COVERED BY PRIVATE INSURANCE OR MEDICARE FOR LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS

Author: 

Lila Leonard

Whether taxpayers should foot the bill for prisoners to have gender reassignment surgery. Some prisons and detention centers are currently paying for the reassignment surgery with tax dollars, but only if an inmate has reached a certain point in his/her hormone therapy and for the safety of the particular inmate, as well as for all inmates. However, a district court judge in Massachusetts ruled in September 2012 for the first time in history that it is a violation of an inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights to deny the surgery if the inmate suffers from gender identification disorder. This mandated surgery is paid for by the prison system, meaning that taxpayers are footing the bill for surgery they could not get themselves through their insurance plans. View More