I haven’t posted on the tragic story of the Iranian sisters who died last week as a result of a failed operation to split them after 29 years of being conjoined at the head. Charles Krauthammer, a medical doctor by training if not vocation, however, has some very interesting thoughts on the subject in Time.

The twins suffered from an error of nature, a mistake in individuation. They were asking for nothing more than the possibility of solitude. To risk everything for this was perfectly rational — indeed, an act of nobility and great courage. Their doctors were assisting heroism, not suicide. They should feel no guilt, only sorrow that victory once again went to nature, in all its cruelty.

A tough call, but I think he’s right.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    And dare it be said that Mr. Krauthammer knows more than most of us about “nature, in all its cruelty.”

    But rather than whine and be defeated he is one of the best in his business.

    He is a man who lives what he speaks and many people could learn from him.