Feature

Free sex changes

The week's news at a glance.

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil will begin offering free sex-change operations to transsexuals, the Health Ministry announced this week. The move was prompted by a federal court ruling that the procedures must be covered by the public health system. “Transsexuals represent about 0.001 percent of the Brazilian population, but for this minority, sexual reassignment surgery is a question of life or death,” said Luiz Mott of the Bahia Gay Group. “It is unjust and cruel to argue that the health system should concern itself with other priorities.” Patients must be 21 years old and mentally healthy, apart from their gender dysphoria. Local officials will determine who qualifies for the coverage.

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