Saturday, August 18, 2007

Will Massachusetts Follow Brazil with Free "Sex-Change" Surgeries?

Whether or not the "Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes" bill is passed in Massachusetts, there's a good chance that mutilating "sex change" surgery could soon be covered by your tax dollars. Our Supreme Judicial Court will surely confirm that health care, however defined by the individual, is a "constitutional right" as did the Brazilian court.

Brazil to offer free sex-reassignment surgery
Michael Astor, AP; 8-17-07

Brazil's public health system will begin providing free gender-reassignment operations in compliance with a court order, the Health Ministry said Friday. Ministry spokesman Edmilson Oliveira da Silva said the government would not appeal Wednesday's ruling by a panel of federal judges giving the government 30 days to offer the procedure or face fines of US$5,000 a day. . . .

Federal prosecutors from Rio Grande do Sul state had argued that sexual-reassignment surgery is covered under a constitutional clause guaranteeing medical care as a basic right. . . .

The health ministry said that since 2000, about 250 sexual reassignment surgeries considered experimental have been performed at three university hospitals. Brazil is generally more tolerant of homosexuality than other Latin American countries, with transvestites featured prominently in celebrations like Carnaval, but discrimination still exists.