• Kosilek's lawyer: Sex reassignment surgery a matter of life and death


    (MyFoxBoston.com) – Michelle Kosilek, a convicted killer living behind bars as a woman, has made numerous appearances in federal court; however, none of the recent appearances have anything to do with the 1990 strangulation of his wife.

    Kosilek was granted a taxpayer-funded sex change operation; however, the fight continues on in court.

    Kosilek's lawyer Fran Cohen says her client suffers from gender-identity disorder and the disorder is causing serious mental anguish. She claims her client needs the surgery now.

    "She should have this surgery because she's suffered for a long time with a debilitating medical condition," Cohen said.

    Kosilek's case was back inside federal court in Boston Tuesday. Outside the hearing Kosilek's lawyer spoke in very frank terms about her client desperation, claiming Kosilek may commit suicide if the sex change does not happen in the near future.

    "One of the doctors testified that he thought there would be a very high likelihood, almost a hundred percent that she would attempt suicide or other self-mutilation," Cohen said.

    Kosilek was born a man, but lives as woman at the all-male state prison in Norfolk.

    The Department of Correction has provided Kosilek with female hormone treatments, electrolysis, and psychotherapy, but Cohen argues it's not enough.

    Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and a victim's advocate, told FOX 25's Ted Daniel, "If this were not a real story, I would think it was, you know, science fiction or some kind of made up cuckoo novel."

    Murphy says if Kosilek is allowed to have the sex change the state could be on the hook for every inmate who wants to change something about his or her body.

    "All of this has been about his feelings, which is profoundly ironic. His feelings shouldn't matter at all because feeling bad after you murder someone is the right feeling to have," Murphy said.

    Last year, a federal trial court judge ruled in favor of Kosilek, ordering the state to provide the sex change surgery. The decision is under appeal, and the appeals court is expected to rule within three months.

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