Parents challenge Siamese twin ruling

The parents of Siamese twins ordered to be separated so that one may live are to appeal against the decision in the High Court.

The parents of Siamese twins ordered to be separated so that one may live are to appeal against the decision in the High Court.

The appeal will be heard on Monday, just over two weeks after a judge gave the go-ahead for surgeons to operate against the parents' wishes.

The babies, known as Jodie and Mary to preserve their anonymity in court, were born in Manchester on August 8. They are joined by their lower abdomens.

Legal proceedings began after doctors decided one would have to be sacrificed if the other was to survive.

The hospital's application to separate the twins was also opposed by the Official Solicitor, acting on behalf of Mary.

Jodie is a bright and alert child but her twin relies on her for heart and lung function and lives only because she is attached to her sister.

Mr Justice Johnson, giving his ruling in public after a private hearing on Friday, said: "For Jodie, separation means the expectation of a normal life; for Mary it means death."

The parents came to Britain from a remote community in Europe to have their children after it was realised they were conjoined and there was a lack of medical facilities in her own country.

In written evidence, they said: "We cannot begin to accept or contemplate that one of our children should die to enable the other one to survive. That is not God's will.

"Everyone has the right to life, so why should we kill one of our daughters to enable the other one to survive?"