Monday, April 15, 2013
The Supreme court of India in an unusual way adopted the conjoined twins of Bihar, Saba and Farah,
The father of the twins is a wayside tea stall owner in Patna. The girls are now 14 years old and are suffering from the constant trauma and pain of being in conjoined state for the last 14 years. However they have now grown up into two cute adolescents wearing ornaments and colourful dresses like any other girl of their age. Their bodies are joined at the head. If it was a simple bone joint a casual surgery can separate them. In the case of Saba and Farah an important vein is passing through the jointed portion from one brain to the other. To complicate matters one of the girls has no kidneys. Except for those abnormalities they are two beautiful adolescent girls with all the dreams and passions like their peers.
The surgery proposed on the twins is very complex. The surgeons are not still sure what complications might arise when the vein connecting them is cut. As regards the absence of kidney for one girl, it is not simply a case of kidney transplantation, the surgeons will have to create a whole renal system with arteries, veins urinary bladder etc and it is a long risky, complex surgery if at all possible to do. The American Neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson had travelled all the way to India to examine the twins and after check-up agreed to do the ‘risky ‘operation with assistance from Indian doctors. He had, however, warned that the operation was very risky and only one girl would survive at the end of it.
The surgery might be immensely costly also and the twins’ family cannot even dream of it. But when Sheik Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan , Prince of Abu Dhabi found the photograph of twins in a Newspaper he offered all expenses for the surgery when it takes place. The question of finance is thus taken care of. Now only a Court direction to the effect will suffice.
But the American surgeon’s words had shattered the hopes of the family. Parents cannot sacrifice one daughter for another, both are their loving kids. At the same time no parent can witness the unending agony of their kids for years, their stupendous inconvenience even to slightly change the body position, the sleepless nights with headache and many other ordeals that conjoined twins have to undergo every minute of their existence. The parents do not wish the surgical option any more in order to see both of them alive.
The twins, with all the agony and inconvenience, find existence dear and love each other immensely. When the Supreme Court ordered to do away with surgery option until further investigation by experts the sisters were excited and happy and thanked Allah for allowing them to be together. In this world of selfishness it is remarkable.
The case came before the Supreme Court when one Aarushi Dhasmana, a law student from Pune filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Court on the plight of twins. The Court took special interest in the case considering its traumatic nature.
The Supreme Court is however in a dilemma on detailed examination of the case. The P I L was on the basis of Article 21 of the constitution which says “ No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law “ In the case of twins the Surgeon himself says only one girl can be saved. Then if the court orders surgery on twins to protect the personal liberty of one girl, the protection of life clause in the Article will be infringed upon when the other girl dies. Is it proper to ignore the right of life in order to protect the right of liberty? It is a proverbial cross road and even the learned Supreme Court Judges said that they spent sleepless nights to sort out the vexed question.
The case is postponed to November and during the time an expert panel will submit their opinion to the court. The Court is moved by the trauma of those girls and is searching for ways to save them from it.
Images from Google