Siamese twins' parents reject appeal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The parents of Siamese twins Jodie and Mary will not appeal against a court ruiling that they must be medically separated.

The parents of Siamese twins Jodie and Mary will not appeal against a court ruiling that they must be medically separated.

Their lawyers say they do not want to contend the Appeal Court's decision in the House of Lords.

Three senior judges unanimously ruled last week that "unviable" Mary was "designated for death" and healthier Jodie had the legal right, with the aid of doctors, to be separated and given a chance of a full life.

The Official Solicitor, Laurence Oates, was contacted by the parents and told that their legal battle was over.

In a statement, he said he came to the conclusion after "the most anxious deliberation".

He added: "I have carefully considered the arguments for and against pursuing an appeal to the House of Lords on behalf of Mary.

"I have had at the forefront of my mind, first, the parents' decision not to pursue an appeal themselves and, secondly, the moral, ethical and legal arguments submitted to the court by the Archbishop of Westminster and the Pro-Life Group.

"After the most anxious deliberation I have concluded that I will not appeal further.

"All the arguments on Mary's behalf were placed before and considered by the Court of Appeal.

"As the judgments repeatedly emphasise, its decision is specific to the unique and tragic facts of this case.

"I am satisfied that the decision will not set a precedent which would undermine the principles of law deriving from and supporting the respect for the sanctity of life and the belief that all life has equal value, which I have been most concerned to uphold."

Lawyer John Kitchingman, acting for the parents, said: "The parents, having taken this case to two courts before four judges - whose decision was unanimous - feel they have done the best they can for both daughters and are unable to take this any further.

"Clearly there are difficult times ahead for the family."