Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Iranian twins: some things are worth dying for

Sad to hear that the operation to separate Laleh and Ladan Bijani, the twins joined at the head, failed. Complications arose, apparently, when surgeons realised that their separate brains had fused and would need to be cut apart millimetre by millimetre. The process cost the women a lot of blood and they could not be stabilised afterwards.

They showed a lot of courage, though. They did not appear to have gone into the operation out of despair but out of a desire to live a qualitatively better life apart. The procedure was risky, but hopefully much will have been learned in the process.

High death-rates are common when radically new operations are attempted, so I hope that this will not completely discourage future attempts of this kind.

Surgeons' sorrow at death of twins, BBC News, 8 July 2003


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