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Separation of Craniopagus Twins: A Clinical, Legal, and Ethical Conundrum

  • REUBEN JOHNSON and PHILIP WEIR

Abstract:

Separation of craniopagus twins is fraught by ethical issues. The surgery is high risk and may involve the sacrifice of one twin. We review surgical successes in separation of craniopagus twins and consider ethical and legal concepts affecting the decision to undertake such procedures. Our discussion considers how Gillett’s potentiality principle and the concept of moral permissibility may be used to arrive at fair and realistic decisions.

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13. See note 4, Winston et al. 1987.

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42. See note 11, Krauthammer 2003.

43. See note 10, Todorov et al. 1974.

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50. See note 30, Gillett 2009.

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52. See note 30, Gillett 2009.

53. See note 47, Waisel 2005.

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58. Leiter et al. 1932, cited in Winston et al. 1987, at 785 (see note 4).

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62. See note 44, Bratton, Chetwynd 2004.

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64. See note 44, Bratton, Chetwynd 2004.

Keywords

Separation of Craniopagus Twins: A Clinical, Legal, and Ethical Conundrum

  • REUBEN JOHNSON and PHILIP WEIR

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