Siamese twin judgement means one must die

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The Independent Online

A High Court judge has given surgeons permission to separate Siamese twins, against the wishes of their parents, who know it will mean death for one of their babies.

A High Court judge has given surgeons permission to separate Siamese twins, against the wishes of their parents, who know it will mean death for one of their babies.

The twins were born on August 8 and are joined at the lower abdomen.

One of the twins is bright and alert child but the other relies on her for heart and lung function and lives only because she is attached to her sister.

Mr Justice Johnson said: "For Jodie, separation means the expectation of a normal life; for Mary it means death.

"Little wonder that the parents are overwhelmed by the circumstances that confront them. Instead of the joy and the longed-for happiness of children, they are faced with a decision from which any parent would shrink.

"They love, love dearly, both their children but they love them equally and simply cannot bring themselves to choose life for one at this frightful cost to the other."

The judge said he had taken into account the deep feelings of the "loving parents".

But he said medical evidence showed that if the girls were not separated, both would die within three and six months because of the extra strain on Jodie's heart and lungs.