Friday, May 20, 2005

Two Headed Babies!

Honestly, I don't watch Oprah- I promise! But, my boyfriend does DVR the show daily and then reads the summaries to see if it is worth watching. To date, I have not used our DVR for a show that I just can't miss (I like to rub that in to him).

Anyway, yesterday's Oprah was about a 2 headed baby. I know you have all heard about this happening in the animal kingdom, but apparently it happens with humans too, although this was just the 10th recorded case.

It turns out that the baby had another head connected to its head. The head was only a head and some flesh, no vital organs other than a brain. The Oprah show sometimes referred to the baby with just a head as a parasitic head, and sometimes by its later given name.

So, the baby that was just a head really only had a head (this is starting to sound like a nursery rhyme). But, it did have its own brain and separately functioning face. It very obviously was an independent being from the full baby it was connected to. It lived by a vein that ran through the full baby's brain. This vein allowed the baby with only a head to have blood pumped to it, nutrients, oxygen, etc. It was the only thing keeping it alive.

Wow, I know. However, this vein was straining the full baby, and it was a daily chore for 10 months to keep the baby alive. So, the parents opted to separate the twins, which would obviously end the life of the baby with only a head.

The full baby lived, the other one obviously didn't. My question is, what do ardent pro-lifers think about this. For that matter, what does everyone out there think about this, especially given the Schiavo story? It was very obvious that both babies were going to die if they were kept together. A growing baby would not have been able to support another life. But, it is also obvious that this head was another life, even if impaired physically and mentally.

So, what do you guys think?


At 20/5/05 7:07 PM, Blogger Dædalux said...

Strange story. I think this just goes to show how complicated seemingly straightforward issues can get. I can't imagine why someone would object to the procedure to separate the twins, but I'm sure someone out there would. I think the real lesson we should have learned from the Terri Schiavo thing is that, right or wrong it's not really our call to make - the family and their doctors have to be free to make this call for themselves. right or wrong - it's their call to make, even if some (or even most of us) might disagree.
I would have been bothered if I heard that the parents chose to not do anything and let them both die as 'God's will' or something, but even then - to us it's just an abstract hypothetical - to them it's reality and, for better or worse, they'll deal with it as best they can.

At 21/5/05 9:19 PM, Blogger GayLikeAFox said...

I agree mostly with daedalux. If both children would have died, you save the one that could be saved.


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