Siamese Twins

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  • #593278

    TheChevra
    Member

    It is halachicly permissible to surgically separate Siamese twins, if it is almost certain that one of the two will not survive?

    #714550

    real-brisker
    Member

    Ask your LOR.

    #714551

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Considering that this is probably an extremely complex question and one that *truly* deserves the attention of a gadol, why do you think anyone here in the CR would know enough to give you an answer?

    The Wolf

    #714552

    i highly doubt that the poster wants an answer

    i think its pretty clear he is interested in a discussion

    #714554

    Helpful
    Member

    It depends whether if the surgery is NOT performed, if both can survive attached. There are many known cases of the attached twins living attached for many years. If so, it would seem impermissible to perform surgery that will result in one of the two’s death.

    #714555

    real-brisker
    Member

    Mod – i agree with you, so too all other halachic/hashkafa questions that are asked here, are not asked to get an answer, because not one person says the same thing, its amazing!

    #714556

    smartcookie
    Member

    Wow, this question is really applicable to ALL CR members, so you came to the right place! We can definitely answer this one!

    #714557

    Helpful
    Member

    Wolf:

    A Godol or Posek isn’t consulted for a theoretical halachic issue, which would be a matter of learning not an issue at hand, and thus can be discussed in the CR. A Posek obviously should be consulted – and followed – for an actual shaila of a practical issue at handing needing a determination.

    I would be surprised if you mistakenly thought the OP had an actual case that he was presenting to the CR for a final determination.

    #714558

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    i think its pretty clear he is interested in a discussion

    Fair enough.

    Points to consider on both sides:

    The prohibition of murder (obviously)

    The possibility that one of the twins may be a rodef (much like a fetus in a very dangerous pregnancy)

    The Wolf

    #714559

    Helpful
    Member

    That’s assuming both can’t survive attached.

    #714560

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I would be surprised if you mistakenly thought the OP had an actual case that he was presenting to the CR for a final determination.

    No, I did not think that. But I also think that this case is far more complex than a “standard” question that may arise on this board.

    In short, I would be surprised if there were anyone here who could really even discuss the issue with any semblance of expertise so as to not hopelessly muddle the waters.

    But what the heck do I know?

    The Wolf

    #714561

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Are you only allowed to kill a rodef? What is someone is going to chop off your feet and hands, can you kill him if that is the only way to stop him?

    What if he is going to be attached to you forever?

    #714562

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Are you only allowed to kill a rodef? What is someone is going to chop off your feet and hands, can you kill him if that is the only way to stop him?

    What if he is going to be attached to you forever?

    Good questions. My answer: dunno. 🙂

    The Wolf

    #714564

    RSRH
    Member

    This was actually dealt with by R. Moshe Feinstien, I think. I recall coming across a Teshuva when studying this case in a Criminal Law class. Its a classic question that gets focussed on by many legal systems.

    I will try to find the Teshuva today.

    #714565

    aries2756
    Participant

    What is the situation with Siamese twins, do they each have their own organs or do they share organs?

    #714566

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Which one would be the Rodef?

    #714567

    nfgo3
    Member

    This question has been authoritatively answered by at least one of the gedolim in the 20th century. At the moment I cannot recall who addressed this question, but I believe that his answer was that if one of the twins is likely to die if not treated, and separation will allow the other twin to live, then the separation surgery is permitted – and required.

    #714568

    WIY
    Member

    Popa

    It is mutar to do self defense even if in the process you may have to kill the person.

    #714569

    For an article on the subject quoting Reb Moshe ZT”L (no citattions or ???? ????) see http://www.koltorah.org/halachah/separating-conjoined-twins

    MOD !!

    This being said you might as well close this thread

    #714570

    fascinating article

    especially the story of Dr. Koop, the surgeon general

    #714571

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Huh?, Huh?

    #714572

    aries

    siamese twins is a general condition which has a huge range of individual circumstances, every case is different

    #714574

    Here is a purported translation/synopsis of Reb Moshe’s teshuva

    Was this published in the Igros. If not why?

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/siamese.html

    MOD!! Since the translator is a controversial personality this thread definitely should be closed after posting this link.

    #714575

    aries2756
    Participant

    MOD 80, well then if every case is different, that is your answer in a nutshell. What is the discussion about? Every case is different and each case has to be looked at and decided on its own merits. Neither a doctor nor a Rav can make a blanket judgment. Everything depends on which organs are involved and what the chances are for each twin.

    #714576

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Being that this is a discussion of what factors are in play, and we are not trying to figure out the bottom line, we can go on. Fast, close the thread before someone has the chance to answer.

    #714577

    oomis
    Participant

    Each case is different, each physical connection is different, and each surgery is different. So it is a different shailah every time.

    When one conjoined twin dies (if natural causes), the other may die as well. This is what reportedly happened with the famous “Siamese” twins Chang and Eng (who were not Siamese, BTW), for whom the condition of being conjoined was named. One of the brothers died, and several hours later, so did the surviving twin. This would tend to support the idea of the twin being a rodef, as the shared circulatory and respiratory system could have ramifications on both. I would think that if they were not joined except by a flap of cartilage, there would be no problem in halacha, with separating them.

    #714578

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    When one dies, that can cause the other to die. Would he be called a Rodef by dying?

    #714579

    myfriend
    Member

    Maybe Dr. 80 knows this. Its a medical question, not a halachic one.

    When an (even adult) attached twin dies, is it generally a given the other twin will die shortly thereafter (i.e. within a day or less)?

    #714580

    interesting

    not up my alley though

    but of course it would be critically related to what the exact situation was, the type and extent of conjoining of the twins, and the cause of death to mention two

    #714581

    myfriend
    Member

    The interesting point, I suppose, is that if the other can survive, is he then permanently attached to a dead person? For whatever reason they never surgically detached them all their lives, and there may be reason they can’t/won’t do it now.

    #714582

    squeak
    Participant

    Ask a life insurance underwriter 🙂

    #714583

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    In the link that huh? so kindly supplied, that was the case. My issues with that was that his Kasha on Reb Moshe is based on a his own brand new Pshat that he learned into the words of the Rambam. From the Gemara there is no basis for his explanation/Kasha. His own Heter is also a little puzzling. He wants to consider someone about to die as a Mechuyav Misa. How does that differ from someone that would without a doubt be killed by the enemy surrounding the village, where we aren’t allowed to give him up?

    To add a little to the subject, the Gemara seems to say that the reason we would kill the fetus to save the mother is because it is not yet considered a full fledged person. The Rambam however, says that we kill it because it is Rodef. Rabbi Akiva Eigger asks this and says that although killing a fetus would not beget a Misas Beis Din, it is still a transgression of Retzicha. Therefore the Rambam says that we would kill it as a Rodef. Reb Moshe points out in another Teshuva that a Treifa has the same Halachic status as a fetus. Therefore in the case that was discussed then, the Baby A, who was definitely a Treifa, and a Rodef can be killed to spare the other one. Reb Moshe didn’t say this because, probably, in a different Teshuva, he answered the Rambam differently, that when they are co-existing side by side then neither is the Rodef. Whereas, however, it is still a fetus he is being the trouble maker. In the above link he seems to differentiate based on if it is depending on the other, and that makes it not be side by side.

    #714584

    haifagirl
    Participant

    There is a fascinating shiur on this subject by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz. It’s available online. In case the mods don’t allow this link, you can google it. It’s called “The Twins Decision.”

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/the-twins-decision/

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