2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference


Conjoined Twins: From Freak Show to Ethical Dilemma
Ásdís Finnsdóttir
Prof. Martha L. Rose, Faculty Mentor

This interdisciplinary study investigated the ethical and moral issues regarding the separation of conjoined twins. Conjoined twins have been of interest to the scientific community, as well as the general public, throughout history. Their status in the last two centuries has shifted from side-show freak displays to medical spectacles. As the phenomenon of conjoined twins questions the very core of human individuality and independence, most people regard surgical separation as the only way for conjoined twins to lead a fulfilling life, even taking into consideration the medical risks, including death, that the separation entails. The modern emphasis on the necessity of separation serves to enfreak conjoined twins who cannot, and often do not want, to be separated. Several case studies of conjoined twins, some separated and others not, illustrate this study.

Keywords: conjoined twins, separation , surgery, ethics, freaks, interdisciplinary


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 51-5
Location: OP 2111
Time: 4:45

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