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October 1st, 2000

Ethics: Separate the Conjoined Twins?

To conclude what inadvertently became “Baby Week,” I ask for opinions on this story that has gotten a signficant amount of press. Summary: there are conjoined twins, attached at the hip, sharing most major organs. Doctors warn that neither will live more than a couple of months in their conjoined state and that they need to attempt separation. The downside: the second twin will die. While this might seem like a pretty straightforward decision at first (as straightforward as a decision to kill one of your children can be) to save one child rather than let both die, other doctors point out that the child that survives will not have much of a normal life either.

The parents had decided to leave it up to God, but the law took over and ordered this past week for the babies to be separated. The parents won’t fight the decision.

Before you chime in with your comments, also take a look at this interesting piece from CNN. -ram

Posted in Miscellaneous

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