Did the Iranian twins commit a kind of suicide?

Did the Iranian twins commit a kind of suicide?

Just curious how others here feel about the death in surgery of the two twins, 29, who wanted to be separated. They knew the chances of a successful surgery were 50/50, which is NOT good odds, and a German doctor had refused the op several years ago. Even the Singapore doc told them it was 50/50 risky. They decided to go ahead with this never successful before operation, and… they died.

They could have been alive right now. Still enjoying life.

So WHY did they do it, do you think, in your opinion?

If it had been you and your twin (we all have twins, of course, somewhere in the parallel universe) what would your decision have been?

I wish they had opted to live. Together. I liked them, now I miss them. They are gone forever. Why do you think they committed this kind of twinish suicide that has no name?

Some condolences on CNN: “Our deepest sympathy, more than tears came to our eyes but God is a rewarder and everything is in his hands.” Mervin and Kenrick Lewis and Jennifer Leandre, Barbados

“You showed so many people you are brave. Everyone is proud that you two actually went through with the surgery. We are sad that you two are gone. We will always remember you. We love you two!” Parisa, Iran

“They will forever be able to look each other in the face now. They are true heros! God Bless them and their family.” Barbara Goodman, United States

edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europ … ay.twins3/

“The twins knew it was a 50/50 chance, but they left it in God’s hands. He just wanted them there with Him.” Monica, United States.

“It was their desire to live their lives separately. Although tragic, I know now that they are separate individuals living in the next dimension.” Steven Yoon, Singapore

Just curious also. Formosa, do you actually have a life apart from posting on forumosa?

You could be outside right now. Enjoying a beautiful summer’s day in Montreal.

So WHY do you do it, do you think, in your opinion?


By all accounts, they were highly intelligent individuals, so I doubt 15 hours in surgery would have been their first suicide choice. :?

What I think, Tye? i think they made a mistake. The operation was hopeless, they knew it, 50-50 is hopeless in a surgery room. Even their adopted father is angry with the docs for going ahead with the brainless operation! THEY should have said no to the op, stayed joined, and enjoyed their newfound celebrity, written a book, gone on TV shows, given hope to people while alive. Now they are just dead as doornails. For what purpose? They are not with God, that’s for sure. They are just gone. I do not think they redefined dignity. I think they made a mistake bigtime. and they regre it now, I am sure.

THe reason I think it is a kind of suicide is this: suicides do it because the pain of being alive is so great, death is better than being alive. so they suicide. These two twins were so in emotional pain i guess about being joined at the head forever, it was worthy trying to get sepped, even if it meant death. I don’t think they KNEW what they were doing, nor I think they understood FULLY the odds. I think the MEDIA killed them, us.

QUOTE: which I don;t agree with:

“The Bijani sisters demanded a chance not just to live, but also to be individuals, and eventually to be alone,” the paper said. “Even at their most terrified, heading into the operating room, the Bijani twins smiled. Doing so, they redefined dignity.”

I think that the proper procedure would have been to have gone ahead with the operation when they were a few days old . . . . . . and not to wait 29 years.

More is coming out now about the downside of the surgery chances:

i wonder: were the docs in Singapore opportunistic in this case? I see this all as a tragedy, not a lesson in dignity or hope. They were murdered.

[Some medical experts have been very critical, concerned about what they saw as the haste and motives behind the surgery.

“There are troubling aspects about this case,” Dr Ian Kerridge, Associate Professor in bioethics at Sydney University’s Center for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine.

“…and one of them was the statement by one of the surgeons that they found it was more difficult than they had expected. To me that sets off a little bit of an alarm bell.”

Kerridge suggested doctors could have let the girls wait for a year, talk to people who have not had the surgery or to people who felt it was wrong.

The man who had adopted and brought up the sisters in Iran, himself a doctor, was angry at the decision to go ahead with the operation.

“They could have lived 20 more years…they were used as guinea pigs,” Alireza Safaian told Reuters in Iran.

“They had medical files in Germany, Switzerland, France and the United States, and everywhere in the last 25 years said they had a five percent chance of survival,” if operated on, he added.’]

Probably not an option for them 29 years ago. Surgery has gotten better in the last 30 years, especially neurosurgery.

Personally, I am disgusted with the news media.

I don’t even want to pretend that I could have made the decision they did, but in any event, did they enjoy life like you say they did Formosa, I think they did not, therefore for THEM they felt the risk was worth it. Should they have done it… Hindsight seemingly would say no. Too bad we don’t have hindsight before we do things.

How could anyone of us know unless we were in the same situation? Unimaginable.

Personally I think I could not have enjoyed life under those circumstances and would most likely also have opted for the surgery. To face such a life for another 20, 30 or more years? Wouldn’t be my choice I guess, so it’s either surgery or suicide …

I cannot judge them…I can only applaud their courage. :cry:

I think Formosa would never have such a choice to make, conjoined or not. His problem would be finding someone to separate him from the carcass to which he was conjoined – his twin would surely have topped himself many years before the age of 29, just to get some fucking peace and quiet.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: laugh of the day!

Here again: Formosa, I thought you were going to count to 10 before posting… :imp:
I am not part of the moderators’ forum, but guys…

I apologise in advance.

But perhaps they should have quit while they were a head.


[color=blue]Fantastic! [/color]

You’re all going to hell :imp:

Hell is here. Welcome :laughing:

I think this sums it up exceptionally well.

[quote=“Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 06/11/2003”]
opinionjournal.com/columnist … =110003735
Let Patients Decide
Iranian twins left the world a big idea.

Friday, July 11, 2003 12:01 a.m.

The doctors for the conjoined twins Ladan and Laleh Bijani said that the odds of their surviving surgery to separate their heads were about 50-50. The number of times this procedure had been done successfully was–zero. So one suspects that “50-50” are the standard odds medicine distributes when the true answer is, not much. Ladan and Laleh Bijani knew this. But they had arrived at that place known only to others who have been brought there by nature’s cruel ferryman–people with failing hearts, cancer, AIDS and other ailments that most people are happy they have little reason to understand.

The attempt in Singapore to separate the large vein the twins shared didn’t work. Ladan and Laleh are dead, and headlines have said a debate is “raging” over whether the surgery should have been tried. I’ve read those stories, and while one can find specialists who wouldn’t have performed the operation, few people in medicine are saying the twins should have been stopped from tendering their lives to a team of 100 medical professionals. Almost everyone has said: Their choice.

That’s worth some thought.


In the realm of medicine at the edge, as here, there is constant struggle among various parties to capture control of the decision over who gets the final call on what procedures may be done, or forbidden. Should that fall to the surgeon or scientist who conceived the procedure, or to an oversight panel of doctors, ethicists and lawyers? Or a government agency, such as the FDA, whom the politicians down the street will hold responsible if a highly publicized medical failure happens? Or should the sick person decide?

I hope that the Bijani case, in which Ladan and Laleh made the call, stands as a benchmark in the debate over risk, reward and regulation in medical practice and experimentation. Publicity has its purposes, and what the publicity here made clear is that Ladan and Laleh Bijani were smart. Law-school graduates, they undeniably had the cognitive skills to understand what they were getting into. Whatever paternalistic instinct exists in the ethical community to trump individual autonomy–and that impulse is strong–it was trumped by the Bijanis’ evident ability to perform the complex moral calculus at play here.

This autonomy might not have been so readily conceded had the twins been semi-literate farm girls. But the Bijani case now stands as a globally arrived at consensus that if you, the patient, know what you’re getting into, then you should control the green light, not others. It may sound like simple common sense to confer autonomy on the person most at risk, but the world hasn’t come easily to this sensible conclusion. The more common practice has been to default most of the responsibility to agents and authorities other than the patient.

In the U.S., one of the most contested, long-running battlegrounds over who decides has been the artificial heart. Unlike the great rarity of conjoined twins, heart failure contributes to more than 700,000 deaths each year, but heart surgeons and artificial-heart developers have struggled with the FDA over heart-implant protocols and permissions for 30 years. This is no Frankenstein project done in the labs of quacks but a very public, if difficult, area of leading-edge science. In the past, at least two prominent heart surgeons, Drs. William DeVries and Jack Copeland, have threatened to simply disobey FDA prohibitions rather than not operate on a dying patient.


Patients have earned themselves a seat at the decision-making table for risky medical therapies only recently. I think any history of this subject would show that the group most responsible for this shift was AIDS patients. The homosexual community, like the Bijanis, was smart, young and well-informed. More important, unlike the elderly afflicted with Alzheimers, they had the energy and publicity skills to stage extravagant death pageants outside the FDA’s drab, fortress-like building in suburban Maryland. The issue was simple: We’re dying and don’t have 10 years to wait for drug developers to erect a paperwork mountain of proof.

It may seem self-evident that a human being at death’s door, for whom medicine’s conventional wisdom has failed, should have authority over what to do next, when what to do next doesn’t include giving up. But it is also inevitable that when medical experiments fail, such as clinical trials whose first purpose is knowledge rather than therapy, they can do so catastrophically, as with Jesse Gelsinger’s death in a gene-therapy trial at the University of Pennsylvania. Then the power of decision shifts away from patients and back to review boards and regulatory combines.

Now we have before us these two delightful young women, who though healthy as that word is normally understood, wished to live as free-standing beings. After they died, Michael Wilks of the British Medical Association said: “They were both, presumably equally, determined they wanted to take the risk, and were highly informed, and I don’t think there is any argument against it. To my way of thinking a consistent desire to take that risk is to be applauded.” It remains to be seen whether our overseers in the political and regulatory towers will applaud this sense of the public mind. But it looks like the world has cast its vote on the informed decision taken by Ladan and Laleh Bijani in their 29th year: Your choice; go for it.

The simple principle of entitling adult individuals with a real voice in the course of life is a powerful idea (and that includes Iran). If Ladan and Laleh put this notion solidly in the world’s collective mind, their legacy may prove larger than the stark drama of this past week.

Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. His column appears Fridays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com[/quote]

It’s unfortunate that they both died, but considering how long they had lived side by side, how do you think they would have dealt with only one of them dying? I think that would have been much worse for them than dying together.

If they wanted to commit suicide I think they would have found an easier way other than surgery.