Judge Says Idaho Can’t Delay Surgery for Idaho Transgender Inmate
(KLIX) – A state transgender inmate may still get gender reassignment surgery in June, despite an appeal by the Idaho Department of Corrections.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said Monday he believed the appeal in the case was likely to fail and that delaying the surgery could cause harm to the inmate, the Associated Press reported.
On Dec. 13 the judge gave the department six months to provide the surgery to Adree Edmo.
Edmo, also known as Mason Dean Edmo, has been imprisoned since 2012 for sexual abuse of a child under 16 in Bannock County, according to the Idaho Department of Corrections.
The prisoner, who was born male but identifies as a woman, is currently housed in the men’s correctional unit but has repeatedly requested gender reassignment surgery and to be relocated to the women’s facility.
Medical records indicate Edmo was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and Gender Dysphoria, according to online court documents from earlier this year, which state that Edmo first attempted self-castration on Sept. 29, 2015. It was argued that Edmo could be subject to further harm if the prisoner did not receive surgery.
The topic has been a scalpel-sharp controversy, with one medical professional saying the court confused its opinion with medical consensus in this case.
“If Ms. Edmo had a broken arm, we’d all agree it should be treated,” David McClusky, a licensed general surgeon and chairman of the Board of Correction, said in January. “But disagreement among medical professionals in this case does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.”
Gov. Brad Little also said in January that he was concerned about Idaho residents paying the bill
“The hard-working taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a prisoner’s gender reassignment surgery when individual insurance plans won’t even cover it,” he said. “We cannot divert critical public dollars away from our focus on keeping the public safe and rehabilitating offenders.”
The ruling Monday means that for now the original deadline for the surgery, June 13, is still in place, according to the Associated Press.
If the transgender surgery happens, Edmo would be the first Idaho inmate to receive it and, according to the Idaho State Journal, perhaps only the second in the country.