Should The Government Pay for a Boob Job? How About a Transexual’s Boob Job?


Normally we wouldn’t give the thumbs up to asking the government to pay for elective cosmetic surgery, like a breast enlargement. But we’re not sure where we stand when the person making that request is a MTF transexual woman, and when she lives in a country (Britain) that provides health care for “gender dysphoria sufferers.”

A woman identified only as “C” has not had gender reassignment surgery (read: no “bottom stuff” done), but is on hormones and has had other treatments to appear feminine. She’s been living as a woman for the past 10 years. Since 2006, she’s been trying to get the government’s National Health Service to pay for her breast enlargement (or rather, “breast creation,” since she has nothing to enlarge just yet.) On Oct. 20, a court plays host to a hearing on whether denying C’s surgery amounts to sex discrimination. Telegraph:

Her barrister, Stephanie Harrison, said it amounted to sex discrimination that she had been treated in exactly the same way as a “natal female”, not suffering from gender dysphoria, applying for cosmetic breast enlargment on the NHS.

Arguing that C would “derive psychological benefit” from breast enhancement, Miss Harrison said the PCT’s refusal “leaves a treatable condition and untreated” and exposed her to “significant suffering”.

Breast augmentation would be “an appropriate and cost-effective treatment” that would enable C to achieve “a congruent physical, psychological and social identity”.

But the PCT’s policy that breast augmentation will only be funded in “exceptional” cases is so tight as to amount almost to a blanket ban, the barrister added.

She pointed out that, over the past three years, West Berkshire PCT has funded just one breast augmentation operation, for a natal woman who was treated as an exceptional case due to the psychiatric impact of her deep dissatisfaction at the size of her breasts.

However, Mr Lock said the “fundamental flaw” in C’s discrimination claims is that she cannot show she was “less favourably treated” than any other woman.

The most frustrating part? It would be cheaper for the government to just pay for the single boob job than argue the case in court.