- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Attorneys for a transgender prison inmate said Wednesday that she could have sex reassignment surgery as early as next month if California correctional officials quickly approve the procedure.

Corrections officials said they are working to schedule the surgery but need more time.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar last month ordered the state to pay for the surgery. Michelle-Lael Norsworthy’s lawyers said in a court filing that a qualified surgeon is available as early as June 5. Surgeons also are available in July and August to operate on the 51-year-old, whose birth name is Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy.

The state has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay as it appeals the San Francisco-based judge’s order.

In the meantime, corrections officials said in their court filing that they are working to schedule the surgery through a federal court-appointed receiver who controls prison medical care, but they foresee complications that could delay surgery. Among other things, they said the state will need to have written contracts with the surgeon, hospital, anesthesiologist and other medical providers to arrange for payment.

Tigar is just the second in the nation to order a state prison system to provide the surgery. The previous order in a Massachusetts case was overturned on appeal.

If Tigar’s order stands, Norsworthy would be the first inmate to receive such surgery in California.

Tigar, who ordered California officials to provide the surgery “as promptly as possible,” has scheduled a hearing for May 13 to gauge the state’s progress.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide