Thursday, April 17, 2014

Indian twins

"We don't wish to get separated. We will stay like this even when we grow old. We want to live as we are," says Shivram Sahu, the twin on the right in the photo above. He and his conjoined brother were born 12 years ago in a tiny village near Raipur in central India, sharing 2 legs, 4 arms, and a single stomach, but having independent hearts and lungs. They are able to walk, ride a bicycle to school (where they are among the top students in their class), and play cricket on all 6 limbs with their friends (SLIDESHOW HERE). Surgical separation would leave them both debilitated – Shivram more so without legs and a lifetime of medical issues ahead of him. I learned when I researched my book that, unless the surgery can be done successfully when they are babies, it is best psychologically for conjoined twins to make the decision themselves when they are old enough. Advocates also caution against narrow definitions of what a "normal" body is.

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