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Why is Hormone Therapy a Medical Necessity for Chelsea Manning? — VIDEO


Lauren McNamara (aka Zinnia Jones), an activist and friend and former defense witness for Chelsea Manning explains why hormone therapy is a medical necessity for trans people and why Chelsea ought to be treated in prison:

"We sentence people to incarceration. We do not sentence them to untreated medical conditions. We don't sentence them to untreated gender dysphoria just as we don't sentence them to untreated kidney failure, untreated infections, or anything else of the sort. When the government takes on inmates and incarcerates them, it becomes responsible for their medical care. And this condition from a medical and scientific perspective is no different from any other medical condition that requires treatment. And increasingly from a legal perspective as well. Civilian courts have found in almost all cases that prisons are required to provide hormone therapy and increasingly surgery as well. Not to do so is considered cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment."


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  1. TheDrDonna,

    1. Source please? You are always demanding sources, now provide some. Dysphorias can be treated in many ways, including therapy to accept the unwanted condition and/or medication.

    2. The state is not obligated to treat every condition under the 8th Amendment. There are many conditions which are treatable, but which the state need not treat because they are not serious and do not pose a risk of serious harm. A prisoner might like to get surgery to correct a longstanding limp, and that surgery might be medically necessary to correct that limp, but he won't get it. The limp might be uncomfortable and might cause distress, but that is not the state's problem and the prisoner has no claim under the 8th Amendment. Ditto for would-be shemales seeking taxpayer funded genital mutilation surgery.

    3. Circular reasoning. You haven't shown that refusing to cover genital mutilation surgery is discrimination.

    Here's hoping that "Chelsea" pursues this all the way the US Supreme Court. This would be the perfect case for SCOTUS to swat this down.

    Posted by: Dana | Aug 24, 2013 4:50:00 PM

  2. Complicated issue, but it is truly Mannings to deal with. He should be a model prisoner and hopefully in 8 yrs he will get out and be free to be whomever he wants to be. This was not a condition he was addressing prior to his arrest, so it can wait till he is released. Or if it was that important it would have taken priority or his release on confidential info, and he would not have been arrest in the first place. Also enough of his problem the country has million of other issues to deal with that effect millions of people so lets solve those. So Bradley priorities first. I wish him the best.

    Posted by: bructer | Aug 24, 2013 5:19:37 PM

  3. TOMMYNYC, Manning did not "go for years" without mentioning it. In fact, she clearly mentioned the fact that she was transgender, or was trying to work out her gender identity, in the chat logs that were released by the army. Moreover, her superiors in the army were aware of the fact she was struggling with her identity because she sent an e-mail (the black and white photograph of her in a blonde wig that is being circulated now was originally attached to that e-mail). Seriously, just read about this before forming an opinion.

    Chelsea Manning is no traitor! She revealed to the world the extent of malpractice and possible war crimes being undertaken in Iraq in the name of American citizens. She's a hero.

    Posted by: DayvG | Aug 24, 2013 5:22:39 PM

  4. dayvg - Bradley Manning should commit suicide.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 5:35:27 PM

  5. Oh shut up Kiwi.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 5:36:42 PM

  6. Duke - Subtract the blacks and the illegal aliens from the prison population and get back to me on where the US stands. Otay?

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 5:38:52 PM

  7. @Dana: despite your obvious hatred for trans people, I'm gonna give you some info:
    That's a list of a lot of different orgs that agree that transitioning is medically sound and beneficial for treating GID.

    The interpretations thus far of the 8th Amendment state that treatment is allowed where it "has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment".

    3. See above.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 24, 2013 6:00:08 PM

  8. Well Little Kiwi you are free to help raise the money to pay for Manning's elective surgery and hormonal treatment if you like. I could care less what you call us or think of us. If you're demanding I pay help pay for something without my input, well lets just say that makes you someone far worse in my eyes than whatever you may think of me. In short, you can take your self-righteous and faux morally superior attitude and F off. As long as the requested treatment is medically unnecessary, and nothing said here indicates it really and truly is, than I'm not interested in making the taxpayers foot the bill. If Manning or someone else wishes to pay for it, ok I'll go along with that but that's it.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Aug 24, 2013 6:06:01 PM

  9. You're a woman trapped in a man's body and this is an "untreated medical condition" while you're serving federal time? I respect Bradley/Chelsea, but let him remain a man while he's in a male prison. And how tedious it is having dull, pedestrian PC-correct posters humorlessly lecturing, lecturing, lecturing us on transgender issues. Lighten up, please.

    Posted by: will | Aug 24, 2013 6:13:34 PM

  10. Under no circumstances should taxpayer money be used for hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery. In 8 yrs or so, when he has paid his debt to society, he can get a job, write a book or do whatever to earn money to pay for those procedures. I do hope that after his prison term, he has a good life.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 24, 2013 6:14:30 PM

  11. @DavyG:

    "She" made no attempt in 25 years to get such surgery. Not prior to joining the Army. Not while in the Army. Not in the 3 years in detention. Only now that the trial is over does it suddenly become "necessary" to get this expensive surgery at taxpayer expense. Sorry. No deal.

    Posted by: TomNYC | Aug 24, 2013 6:16:46 PM

  12. @DrDonna:

    Gee it took only 1 comment exchange for you to retreat from "medically necessary" to "medically sound and beneficial." Shows what a transparent liar you are. Why do trans activists lie so frequently? Is it part of your mental disease or is it just a lack of morals?

    The surgery might be medically sound and beneficial. That doesn't make it necessary. That doesn't mean that the taxpayer has to provide it.

    If there were an actual finding that not getting the surgery would result in suicide and that no other treatment option would work and if that finding were reviewed and affirmed by a review panel, then "Chelsea" might have a case. But that is very different than asserting that trans criminals are entitled to surgery because they have a dysphoria and want surgery.

    Posted by: Dana | Aug 24, 2013 6:23:19 PM

  13. @Dana, I know you're blinded by your hatred for trans people, but please do try to look at what I've posted before simply latching on to a single phrase and trying to build a case around it. It is medically necessary. Most of the sources cited in the link I provided describe it as such. They also describe it as "not cosmetic" and "not elective."

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 24, 2013 6:36:13 PM

  14. If a prison inmate has kidney failure, or HIV, or any other LIFE THREATENING illness, then denying them medical treatment would be unheard of. However, Bradley Manning wanting to become a woman is not LIFE THREATENING. If he needs therapy then there are prison psychologists, however HRT and sex reassignment surgery is not something taxpayers should have to pay for. If he wants to be a woman then it should be up to him to pay for it when he gets out.

    Posted by: crazycorgi | Aug 24, 2013 8:02:46 PM

  15. Imagine that, the very same US Government Department that brought us Abu Ghraib, that imprisoned Private Chelsea Manning in naked humiliation for months on end, that kept the yet uncharged American Army Private in solitary confinement for years, imagine these kind souls denying "medically necessary care" to an imprisoned American Citizen on US Soil! What will we have next? Unanswerable war crimes of murdering American Citizens on foreign soil absent any trace of due process, while also murdering vast uncountable numbers of innocent civilians and first responders? Had Private Manning never blown the whistle on it, following his empathetic conscience, the DOD and CIA would never have had to divulge the minute degree of detail about murderous drone strikes they now incompletely, misleadingly and grudgingly reveal.

    Yet, even on this supposed LGBTI friendly website, we hear the whining of the "haves" about how medically necessary healthcare should be denied to an American sentenced to 30 years of loss of personal liberty because, for example, one New York City renter sees Food Stamp abuse all around his self-sacrificing beset upon person in the "hood."

    What's it like to be a trans person before gender reassignment? I can't say exactly from my own life experience as a gay man, but I do recall how uncomfortable I felt so very often before I came out. To me, it seems, if you take just your one most humiliating experience you as an LGB person had to endure before coming out, my guess is that feeling trapped inside a body that is not your heart and mind's gender must be a million times worse, not just once but each and every day. For any member of the still-oppressed worldwide LGBTI population, to bad mouth out of sheer ignorance and lack of empathy any other oppressed minority than your own Private Idaho is unforgivable, ugly and unworthy of any oppressed person whose oppression is based on immutable traits. Anti-trans lesbians, bisexuals and gays (I can't even understand why I have to state this on this "homosexual tendencies" website!) should have their heads examined, seriously, in a good productive way. Perhaps then their internalized self-loathing won't be hurtfully transferred upon other folks just trying to live the best lives that they can. Isn't that fundamental to being an American?

    Posted by: Thomas Cardellino | Aug 24, 2013 8:13:51 PM

  16. As a point of clarification, the military does provide transgender medical care, but only to veterans through the VA. It's not provided to anyone actively serving, in part because gender dysphoria is categorized as a condition incompatible with active duty. Still, there are more and more reports in the press this week from anonymous sources that the military knows about large numbers of transgender people (in the thousands, since we're not talking about a huge population overall) in the military who are being quietly accepted as long as they do their jobs well.

    Posted by: Holly | Aug 24, 2013 8:37:21 PM

  17. So much for the "community" that ww allegedly belong to. Most of the comments here today make my heart hurt. We're our worst enemy.
    Who needs Tony Perkins or the Westboro Baptist Church when we us each other?

    Posted by: Gigi | Aug 24, 2013 8:46:10 PM

  18. I don't care about who pays for it, I just think that felons have lost their freedom to choose to START transitioning while they're serving time. If they were transitioning before incarceration, prisons should be required to respect and facilitate the process.

    The decision to start transitioning is a serious one. I have difficulty with calling it a medical necessity when it's the patient saying they need it, and not a doctor saying that the patient >needs< it.

    Posted by: jexer | Aug 24, 2013 9:33:21 PM

  19. DrDonna:

    I realize that artificial hormone injections might have blunted your reasoning skills, but try to follow along:

    Just because a procedure is "not cosmetic" or "not elective" does not mean that it is "medically necessary." There are many procedures that are not cosmetic but also are not medically necessary. I gave you an example of a prisoner who suffers from a chronic limp. Another example might be allergies which cause discomfort, but post no serious risk of death or injury. Another example might be a deviated septum. All real medical conditions for which treatment would not be cosmetic. But it wouldn't be medically necessary either and a prisoner would have no right to demand that the taxpayer provide it.

    Here's a thought: tell your fellow transwomen to stop committing crimes, to stay out of prison, and to start looking for jobs. Then, they can use their own money that they earn from their salaries to fund their genital mutilation surgeries. K? Let me know how that goes over with the "trans community."

    Posted by: Dana | Aug 24, 2013 10:05:20 PM

  20. @Dana: in your haste to spew epiphets and denigrate an oppressed minority, did you again fail to read my comment? Almost all of the organizations in that link, including the APA and the AMA and the WPATH, said that those treatments are medically necessary.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 24, 2013 11:20:30 PM

  21. It's interesting that on another day some self-identified transperson will tell us that the military should have to accept tgirls for enlistment, and today these people have a medical condition which requires not only acute care but medical maintenance for a chronic condition... and that the medical necessity is born of statistics about how many tgirls have tried to commit suicide when the rainbow was not enuf.

    Spare me. You're a drag queen, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong with the fact that you believe that you are a member of the female sex when you are in every medical sense male. So what you like swishing, shopping, and wearing Oleg Casini seamed stockings- you are a man who likes all of those things.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 11:44:10 PM

  22. It's the equivalent of elective surgery. Do female inmates get free breast implants and lip injections? Do male inmates get hair transplants and eye tucks?

    It isn't medically necessary. If Manning could get by without estrogen for all these years, s/he can get by without it for the duration of the sentence.

    Posted by: Knock | Aug 25, 2013 12:44:15 AM

  23. No prison titties for manning. No. Not going to happen.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 25, 2013 1:50:50 AM

  24. Im a flaming liberal and Im against paying for criminals to have sex changes. I know that trans activists label anyone who disagrees as an anti-trans, but Im not. Im just not paying for prisoners hormones. That's sill.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 25, 2013 1:52:55 AM

  25. Hagatha makes a good point. Trans activists insist that trans people are qualified to serve in the military and they try to compare their situation to the old ban on LGB soldiers. But at the same time they declare that they have a serious medical condition that requires specialized intervention, hormone injections and surgical procedures. The military is under no obligation to accept individuals who require medical intervention and supervision. So hopefully, the Manning case and all the claims about how the surgery is medically necessary will be cited by the Pentagon every time trans activists push to repeal prohibitions on trans servicemembers.

    Posted by: ClemInTX | Aug 25, 2013 2:33:48 AM

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