The Straits Times
Published on Nov 20, 2012

US transgender inmate seeking electrolysis treatments


BOSTON (AP) - A transgender inmate in the United States who won a court order for taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery has no medical need for further electrolysis treatments, a prisons department psychiatrist testified on Monday.

Dr Robert Diener testified during a hearing in US. District Court on Michelle Kosilek's request to have additional hair-removal treatments. Dr Diener, chief psychiatrist for the state Department of Correction, said he evaluated Kosilek in 2010 and again last month and concluded that Kosilek's anxiety level hasn't changed, even though she hasn't had electrolysis treatments since 2008."I continue to believe that it's not medically necessary for this patient," said Dr Diener.

Kosilek's lawyer, Ms Frances Cohen, said prison officials' refusal to allow Kosilek to have additional treatments is "simply another incident of deliberate indifference" to Kosilek's medical needs.

The department has said it discontinued the treatments after finding she had already received significant hair removal and saying her remaining hair could be removed by shaving or depilatories. Judge Mark Wolf didn't immediately rule on the request.