GLMA and WPATH Support Healthcare for Transgender Inmate

On June 12, 2015, GLMA and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals in support of a transgender woman who was denied gender affirmation surgery while in the California State Prison system.

The brief argues that, consistent with the WPATH Standards of Care, treatment for gender dysphoria, including gender-affirming surgery, is medically necessary care and that prisons must provide medically necessary care to transgender inmates. The brief states further: “These standards are based on the fundamental principle that medical and mental health professionals must make a case-by-case assessment and treatment plan for each patient in order to identify the severity of, and treat, each patient’s disorder.”

In April 2015, a federal district court ruled the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) must provide sufficient medical care, including gender-affirming surgery, to Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, a transgender woman being held in a men’s prison. According to the Transgender Law Center, which is representing Norswothy along with the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the federal district court determined that prison administrators “chose to ignore the clear recommendations of her mental health provider” and “[i]nstead of following his recommendations, they removed her from his care.”

GLMA is grateful to the law firm Jenner & Block, which is representing GLMA and WPATH on the brief.

To access the brief, please click here.

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