Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment
June 15-16, 2012

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Conjoined Twins in the News

This post isn't strictly tied to the theme of sensualising deformity, but given the extraordinary nature of the case and the time of year I felt that it warranted sharing. A pair of conjoined twins of the most rare degree, dicephalic parapagus, where two fully formed heads share a single body, including internal organs, have been born in Brazil.

The amazing thing about this is the fact that both the babies and the mother are alive and, we can assume, healthy. Obviously whether their condition will impact on their development remains to be seen, but at the moment it is simply wonderful that these two boys have survived to term and have been born without any apparent complications.

Perhaps the more disturbing note here is the article's insistent emphasis on separation, which has arisen in spite of the fact that doctors admit it to be impossible; separation in this instance would be "removal", selection one of the children to deliberately kill. That the conversation is taking place despite both twins exhibiting normal brain function and with no visible threat posed by one twin to the health and survival of the other is somewhat unsettling to say the least, but not surprising. To what degree does the assumption that separation is a given play in to legitimate medical concerns, and to what degree does it reflect the same anxieties of human form and human subjectivity which have always plagued conjoined twins?

Today, however, with the twins born only a few days before Christmas and Hanukkah, and right in the midst of the winter holiday season, we'd just like to wish them, and you, all our best. 

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