By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

  HALIFAX, February 29, 2008 ( – Provincial funding for sex-change operations will be one of the topics discussed at this weekend’s Young Liberals annual meeting in Halifax.

  Resolution 11 says transsexualism is a congenital birth condition where there is a mismatch between the physical outward appearance of a person’s gender and his or her inner perception.

“Other congenital birth conditions, such as limb malformation, heart and nervous system defects and genetic disorders such as a predisposition to a heart attack or heart disease, are currently covered under the Nova Scotia health-care system,” so tax dollars should be used for “gender reassignment surgery for transsexual individuals, along with pre- and post-surgery care and counseling,” says the resolution.

  In a report in the Halifax Chronicle Herald today, Health Department spokeswoman Pamela Hafey said the surgery is not an insured service under the province’s Health Services and Insurance Act.

“We don’t cover it because it is not considered a necessary surgery,” she explained.

  The same report quoted J.T. Davis, a spokeswoman for the pro-homosexual group Youth Project, saying that gender confusion is a psychological problem.

“It’s a serious mental health issue to have your body not feel right,” Ms. Davis said.

  As reported previously by, the existence of “gender dysphoria” (a state of unease or dissatisfaction with one’s gender) is contentious even in the mainstream medical community. Dr. Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, contends that gender dysphoria does not exist but that the disorder is purely psychological in nature.

  In the 1970s, McHugh halted sex-change operations at Johns Hopkins, calling them “perhaps with the exception of frontal lobotomy, the most radical therapy ever encouraged by 20th-century psychiatrists.”

  Although human rights tribunals in BC, Ontario and Quebec have ruled that the province must pay for gender reassignment surgery, Ontario delisted the surgery from the provincial health plan in 1998.

  A report in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail said that sex-change surgery in the US can cost up to $150,000, plus additional costs for hormones and other drugs. In Canada, the report said the surgery costs between $12,000 and $18,000, but in reality the costs can be vastly higher.

  In British Columbia, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled the health services ministry had to pay $30,000 for previous operations done in California on a woman wishing to change her gender, plus another $93,028 to complete the gender-reassignment surgery.

  Read related articles:

“Sex-Change” Lunacy and Judicial Activism Cripple Canadian Correction Facilities

  Boy, 12, Given Questionable Sex-Change Therapy after “Diagnosed” as Transsexual
  Leading US psychiatric researcher strongly criticizes such procedures