Monday, December 08, 2014

Medically Necessary, What Does It Mean?

We have been working to have our medical expenses covered because the medical community has found that by having proper medical treatment it improves the quality of our lives. Withhold that treatment is inhumane and sometimes it is controversial.
There is an article in the Guardian about a letter that Private Chelsea Manning wrote to them about the military not allowing trans-people to serve in the military and about being denied medical treatment that is deemed to be medically necessary. In the article it says that,
Separately, she is suing the US military over its denial to her of gender dysphoria treatment, despite defense secretary Chuck Hagel having approved the process in July.
Last week, in a case heralded by the American Civil Liberties Union, the US army “fully recognised” the new names of two transgender veterans from New Jersey. The decision cleared a path for the two, who were named only as Jennifer and Nicolas, to receive veterans’ benefits.
Manning adds: “A doctor, a judge or a piece of paper shouldn’t have the power to tell someone who he or she is. We should all have the absolute and inalienable right to define ourselves, in our own terms and in our own languages, and to be able to express our identity and perspectives without fear of consequences and retribution.
Many people, including trans-people feel that prisoners should not have treatment for gender dysphoria while in jail, but when you ask them if prisoners who have cancer or a heart condition should have treatment for their medical problems while in jail they say yes. To pick and choose what medical treatment that you will give inmates is both ethically and legally wrong. The courts have ruled that denying transgender inmates medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria violate the Eighth Amendment, “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” In the case of Smith v. Fields the state of Wisconsin banned any treatment for gender dysphoria and three inmates sued the state. They won in federal court which ruled that it was a violation of the Eighth Amendment, the state appealed and the inmates won the appeal and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case letting the judgment of the Appeals court stand.

Whether you like it or not, Private Chelsea Manning and all other trans-prisoners should have all the treatment that is medically necessary.

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