- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments from Massachusetts prison officials challenging a court order to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate serving a life sentence for murder.

Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, was convicted in the 1990 killing of spouse Cheryl Kosilek.

After a long legal battle, a federal judge ruled in 2012 that the state Department of Correction must provide the surgery to treat Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder.

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling in January, saying that receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right.

The state appealed. A hearing before the full court is scheduled Thursday.

Prison officials say Kosilek has received adequate treatment for gender-identity disorder, including female hormones, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. They’ve also cited security concerns.

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