A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's ruling granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a Massachusetts transgender inmate serving a life sentence for murder.

    Michelle Kosilek, who was born a man, was convicted in the 1990 murder of wife Cheryl Kosilek.

    Kosilek sued the Massachusetts Department of Correction after prison officials refused to grant her request for sex-reassignment surgery. A federal judge ruled in 2012 that the surgery is the ``only adequate treatment'' for Kosilek's gender-identity disorder.

    Kosilek now lives as a woman in a men's prison.

    State prison officials appealed the ruling to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled Friday that the 64-year-old Kosilek is entitled to the surgery.

    Prison officials argued that there are legitimate safety concerns of protecting her in prison if she has the surgery.

(Associated Press)