“Do I understand what he was up against? Mark asks me. Did I see that the disease had every single advantage? When you’re facing that kind of enemy, in that kind of battle, you’re allowed to cheat, aren’t you?”
Michelle Kosilek, a transgender woman in prison for the 1990 murder of her wife, is fighting for the right to have the state provide sexual-reassignment surgery. Kosilek’s battle touches on what is covered under the Eighth Amendment:
We enter into a kind of compact with the people we incarcerate. Much as we might like to put them out of mind—behind 20-foot-tall, quarter-mile-long, immaculate walls erected in the middle of nowhere—we are, by the act of imprisoning them, bound more closely to them than ever. They are entirely dependent on us for food, clothing, shelter. Is it right that we brandish that dependence over them like a threat? Is it ethical for us to treat some legitimate medical conditions but not others? What does society owe to the worst among us? “Eighth Amendment protections are not forfeited by one’s prior acts,” wrote future Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1979. Yet there is a point at which even progressive legal scholars hesitate to champion those protections. Dolovich teaches her law students about a bank robber in California who received a heart transplant in 2008 while serving a 14-year sentence. The cost of the operation, including follow-up care, was more than a million dollars. The fact that the bank robber got the heart meant that someone else, someone law-abiding, didn’t.
[Not single-page] More men are getting diagnosed with eating disorders, but are struggling to receive help:
“As recently as a decade ago, clinicians believed that only 5 percent of anorexics were male. Current estimates suggest it’s closer to 20 percent and rising fast: More men are getting ill, and more are being diagnosed. (One well-regarded Canadian study puts the number at 30 percent.) It’s unclear why, but certainly twenty years of lean, muscular male physiques in advertising, movies, sports, and of course, magazines like GQ—from Marky Mark to Brad Pitt to David Beckham—have changed the way both men and women regard the male body. And thanks to the web, those images are easy to seek out and collect. For American men, the chiseled six-pack has become the fetishized equivalent of bigger breasts. Like all fetish objects, it stands for something deeply desired: social acceptance, the love of a parent or partner, happiness.
“But many afflicted men feel too stigmatized to go to a doctor—and many doctors don’t recognize the early, ambiguous symptoms. ‘It is not what a primary-care physician will consider at first glance,’ says Mark Warren, founder of the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders. ‘Often it won’t be what they consider at fourth or fifth glance.’
“Diagnosis is hard. Finding treatment is even harder. Many residential centers don’t admit men, out of a belief that treatment should be sex-specific.”