<< Searching Cell Phones Incident to Arrest | Main | News Scan >>

En Banc Rehearing in the Prisoner Sex-Change Case

| 1 Comment
Paige Sutherland reports for AP:

Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, has been in a heated legal battle to get the surgery, which she [sic] says is required to relieve the emotional stress caused by the disorder. Kosilek is currently serving a life sentence for killing spouse Cheryl Kosilek in 1990.

In 2012, a federal judge ruled that the department must give Kosilek the surgery.

In January, that decision was reaffirmed by a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said it is a constitutional right to receive medically necessary treatment "even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox."

The prisons department appealed and won a rehearing before the full appeals court. Five appeals court judges heard arguments on the matter Thursday and could take months to issue a decision.

See also this prior post.
A brief note on language.  The Associated Press article quoted in this post referred to Michelle (formerly Robert) Kosilek as "she."  After pondering a while how to handle that, I decided to leave it in but put "[sic]" after it.  I do not agree with the way AP handles this.

The DSM-IV defines Gender Identity Disorder thusly:

There are two components of Gender Identity Disorder, both of which must be present to make the diagnosis. Thee must be evidence of a strong and persistent gross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is of the other sex (Criteria A). This cross-gender identification must not merely be a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex. there must also be evidence of persistent discomfort about one's assigned sex or a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex (Criteria B). The diagnosis is not made if the individual has a concurrent physical intersex condition (e.g., androgen insensitivity syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia) (Criteria C). To make the diagnosis, there must be evidence of clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Criteria D).
The DSM-5 muddles this, but I won't get into that.

This is a genuine mental disorder, and people afflicted with it deserve as much compassion and understanding as persons afflicted with any other disorder.  What Political Correctness now demands, though, is that we share the delusion and use feminine pronouns for men who are convinced they are women. 

Sorry, that is the proverbial bridge too far.  It is one thing to be understanding and inclusive.  It is quite another to deny reality just because another person's mental illness causes him to deny it.  If a person with schizophrenia thinks he is the king, do we have to refer to him as "his royal highness" in news articles?  No.  Same thing.

In this article, the AP gets even loopier than normal and refers to the murdered Cheryl Kosilek as the murderer's "spouse."  Um, excuse me, but Cheryl Kosilek was Robert Kosilek's wife.  Why is AP afraid to say so?

1 Comment

In my view, that this case is even entertained shows just how far afield the courts have gone in Eighth Amendment "jurisprudence." At the end of the day, this is expensive elective surgery, and taxpayers shouldn't be forced by federal courts to pay for it.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives