Egyptian doctors remove baby’s second head


Wow, that is frightening.

I just read about that…so weird.

So, did the second, blinking-head baby have a soul? Was it a sin to remove it and kill it?

I’m glad I’m not the one who had to make that call

Did the second head have a functioning brain? I guess that would be the question. In any case, I can’t imagine being the woman who gave birth to this child with the frightening head attached to it. It is the stuff of horror movies, and I hope that the “parasite” was not a functioning being. It sure looked like a person, and not a simple tumor.

Its sometimes called like a phantom twin and they can die and sort of grow into the body as like a non fuctioning dead twin. Truly hideous and sad.

That is so weird.

It presumably had a functioning brain, as the article says it was able to blink and smile.

The article did say

The head that was removed from Manar had been capable of smiling and blinking but not independent life, doctors said.

Perhaps it was just commands from the other brain to the features of this head? Very sad. Must have been such a terrible ordeal for everyone involved.

I HAD to open this thread because the title looked like something from the Weekly World News. :eek:

The other brain wouldn’t have been able to do that. We have to assume that some independent neurological function was present in the blinking baby.

Should this be considered murder - sacrificing the life of the blinking baby head? Isn’t this sinful? How is this different from abortion?

Well, since this wasn’t your child and it’s already done, I guess it’s a moot point.

It’s easy to say it shouldn’t be done untill it happens to you. I certainly wouldn’t criticize the parents who had to make this decision because it’s a highly personal and family matter, and the decision belongs within the family, not outside interference from a government. I think the family deserves our sympathy rather than a judgemental attitude.

I’m probably the only here who feels that way.

The other brain wouldn’t have been able to do that. We have to assume that some independent neurological function was present in the blinking baby.

Why do we have to assume anything? I thought the article stated that the 2nd head was not independant and working off the brain of the child with a body. The neurological functions were from the same brain.

There were two brains. It was on the news. One brain wouldn’t be able to control movements of two heads, anyway.

Principle of Double Effect in action. It was not murder:

a) the death of the twin was not intended; the procedure would have been performed even if the twin would have survived.
b) the good of the procedure, a life, is at least equal to the evil, a death.
c) the procedure was a medical necessity for the health and survival of the surviving child, and there were no “safer” alternatives.
d) there was nothing inherently wrong with the procedure; seperation of conjoined twins is not in itself an evil.

In essence, the deformed twin was a “parasite” in the sense that it drained nutrients from the fully developed child without returning any of its own. Furthermore, such a deformed child was unlikely to survive for long, meaning that the life of the fully developed child would be in extreme jeopardy if left attached. A seperation had to be done, and would have been done under any circumstances. Nobody intended that deformed twin would die, but it was recognized as the definite, and unfortunate, outcome of the medically necessary procedure.

I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion about this. As far as I can see, the “double effect” wouldn’t apply if the babies weren’t dying without the surgery. The “parasitic” twin was killed for the other twin’s quality of life, so she could live a normal life, not so at least one could live at all. If that’s the case, I can’t see how it would be ethical for them to do this. Actually, it’s a lot like abortion - seeing one human being as disposable because she is dependant on another.

I don’t think it was morally wrong to perform the surgery. The death of the twin was a forseen but unintended consequence of a necessary surgery. It is very sad. I for one believe that the twin that died probably did have a perfectly formed soul however deformed the body was. I hope she finds joy in a perfected ressurrected body.

My gut tells me this was OK and necessary, but my limited knowledge of Catholic ethics and natural law lead me to the conclusion of BlindSheep - it’s only permitted when the “parasitic” body is endangering the life of the “host” body.

The death of the fully formed child didn’t have to imminent for the surgery to be licit, only reasonably foreseen. The “parasite” twin would not have survived long, they almost never do, and the removal of the deformed twin after it is dead would put an undo risk of death on the fully formed child. They had a fully integrated circulatory system, and the survival of one child after the death of the other in such circumstances is generally counted in hours at most. It simply wasn’t feasible to wait until one died in order to save the other.