Document Detail

Separating conjoined twins: a medical and criminal law dilemma.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20329459     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Surgical separation of conjoined twins that results in the death of one of the twins raises complex moral, ethical and legal issues. Of particular concern is the potential for homicide charges against doctors. In two recent cases, one in England and one in Queensland, judges declared the surgery to be lawful but the legal reasoning employed is problematical and may be difficult to apply to future conjoined twins cases, such as infant twins where one is not fully developed, or where it is proposed to separate adult twins. A determination of the threshold issue of whether there are two individual persons capable of being killed may require a reconsideration of existing legal definitions and statutory provisions. Similarly, the excuses and justifications for homicide may need to be clarified or reviewed in the context of separation of conjoined twins.
Colleen Davis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Legal Cases    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of law and medicine     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1320-159X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Law Med     Publication Date:  2010 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-24     Completed Date:  2010-05-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9431853     Medline TA:  J Law Med     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  594-607     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Law, Griffith University.
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MeSH Terms
Criminal Law
Surgical Procedures, Operative / ethics*,  legislation & jurisprudence*
Twins, Conjoined / surgery*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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