Appeals court reinstates lawsuit of inmate seeking sex change

01/28/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

New York – A federal appeals court has reinstated the lawsuit of an inmate seeking to undergo a sex change operation. As reported by Reuters, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Ophelia Azriel De’lonta, who born Michael Stokes, is allowed to argue that the refusal of Virginia authorities to allow the operation is a violation of the prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

De’lonta is stated to suffer from gender identity disorder, which according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, in some cases requires sex reassignment surgery.

Judge Albert Diaz is quoted in the report as writing in the three-judge panel’s unanimous decision, “In these cases, the surgery is not considered experimental or cosmetic; is it an accepted, medically indicated treatment.”

As noted in the report, the appeals court’s decision does not order the receipt of the surgery, it finds De’lonta’s lawsuit to be practical in accordance with provision of the Eight Amendment.

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