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The Boston Globe



Judge goes too far in sex change ruling

Credit US District Judge Mark Wolf with courage for being the first federal judge to order a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a transsexual prisoner. But don’t credit him with a wise decision.

Wolf has been wrestling with this issue for more than a decade. In 2002, he ruled that inmate Michelle Kosilek (formerly Robert) was entitled to treatment for a gender identity disorder, a psychiatric illness characterized by anguish over one’s sex. He left it up to medical professionals to figure out a course of treatment. Shortly thereafter, Kosilek began a regimen of female hormone treatment and psychotherapy. That seemed like a humane solution. The case should have stopped there.

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