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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nation to provide free sex-change operations

August 18, 2007

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— Brazil's public health system will begin providing free sex-change 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 $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.

On Wednesday the 4th Regional Federal Court agreed, saying in its ruling that "from the biomedical perspective, transsexuality can be described as a sexual identity disturbance where individuals need to change their sexual designation or face serious consequences in their lives, including intense suffering, mutilation and suicide."

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