2:21 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

WikiLeaks case: Hormone treatment approved for Chelsea Manning

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Defence Department officials said on Thursday that hormone treatment for gender reassignment has been approved for Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for sending classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.

The officials said the hormone therapy was approved on February 5 by Col. Erica Nelson, commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Manning is serving a 35-year sentence.

The treatment would enable the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning to make the transition to a woman. Manning changed her legal name in April 2014.

The decision came after a lawsuit was filed in September in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It alleged Manning was at a high risk of self-castration and suicide unless she received more focused treatment for gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man’s body.

The Army was providing some treatment but not enough, according to the lawsuit, including psychotherapy from a mental health specialist, who lacked the qualifications to treat gender dysphoria. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and many state and local corrections agencies administer hormone therapy to prisoners with gender dysphoria, but Manning is the first transgender military prisoner to request such treatment.

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