Sunday, February 20, 2005

Egyptian baby's parasitic twin removed

CNN reports, Surgeons remove baby's second head

Ten-month-old Manar Maged had an incomplete conjoined twin connected to her head. The second twin had a seriously underdeveloped body, but had a head and face that could smile and blink. The coverate doesn't say if the second "head" smiled, blinked, and slept and woke independently of little Manar, or just seemed to be echoing Manar.

More coverage is at Egyptian Doctors Remove Baby's Second Head, Reuters photos, an identical story with a different picture.

Was this a growth, or a second person living a parasitic existance? Should the ethics of killing the parasitic twin even enter into the equation? Personally, I think that we should at least consider the possibility that the parasitic twin is a second individual, and ponder the possibility of saving her life. I'm not saying the parents and doctors made a wrong choice; I'm just concerned that there seems to be no consideration whatsoever given to a "growth" that might be another human being. At which point are we no longer talking about additional parts of one child's body, but talking about a second, seriously disabled, child?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This story has been bothering me for days. I need more info on the parasitic twin...was it a vegatable? or did it make eye contact, cry, sleep, ect.

Anonymous said...

You're completely out of your mind.

Marsha Reagan said...

Baby Islaam was not a "vegetable", (by which I suppose you mean to ask if she was in a "vegetative" state). Her physicians were fully aware of this and the decision to separate the CONJOINED TWINS (NOT simply an extraneous head) was made in full consciousness of sacrificing Islaam in the hope that her twin, Manar would have a greater chance of living "normally". As far as the above question of whether Islaam was simply "echoing" her twin's facial expressions - that is simply ridiculous; this is not SciFi. In certain of the photos you can see that Islaam is sleeping while Manar is awake. Islaam had her own brain; While Islaam's brain and underdeveloped body was supported by her twin sister's circulation, organs etc. and fueled by energy from the food her sister ate. In conjoined twins there are differing degrees of shared organs - in Islaam and Manar's case, there were simply more that were shared and most were on Manar's side. It was a question of what would be better in the long run, and unfortunately the parents and physicians were burdened with the choice. You don't have to take my word for any of this, there are scholarly studies and medical journals chronicling the case readily available online.

ali haider said...

Islaam was cute baby every body loves her she have brain and feeling so she was complete human by soul may she and her sister enjoy in heaven.