Another two headed baby has been born in Indonesia.

What’s interesting about this latest child is that it’s pretty much exactly what most people think of when they hear the words “two headed baby” in that it’s a dicephalus twin with two heads side-by-side, two arms, two legs, two spinal columns, and a set of shared organs. This is different from the other recent two headed baby (Rebeca Martínez born September 2003 in the Dominican Republic) that was craniopagus parasiticus where the second head with an undeveloped body is conjoined at the skull with its twin. As is often the case in the latter form, Rebeca passed away during the operation to remove the parasitic head.

The baby in Indonesia has been named Syafitri by her parents apparently unaware of the fact that they’re literally dealing with two separate people in one package. Doctors are reportedly considering an operation to try and separate the twins which is, frankly, quite surprising to me. I wouldn’t have thought such twins could be separated, but apparently it depends on how many of the internal organs are shared between the twins, but even then separation means life in a wheelchair for both people if they survive. In Syafitri’s case, however, they share a single heart which may not be enough to support both twins regardless of whether they’re separated or not, but definitely complicates any proposed separation attempt. One possible solution, which would be a nightmare to have to consider, would be to try and save only one of the two kids by killing its twin.

As a parent I can’t begin to imagine how to decide which of the two people trapped in that one body to sacrifice for the sake of the other. Especially if neither one of them had any worse chance of survival after separation (which would likely kill both anyway). If it were me I’d probably leave them be and hope they have a strong heart as there have been several other dicephalus twins who have managed to lead relatively decent lives considering their situation.

16 thoughts on “Another two headed baby has been born in Indonesia.

  1. Well, if I ever really needed further proof that there is no god, or if he does exist he’s the sickest, most twisted bastard ever, here it is.

  2. Thanks for the Wikipedia links. I saw a rerun of the “Joined for Life” documentary a year or two ago and “wow” was pretty much all I could think of.

  3. One possible solution, which would be a nightmare to have to consider, would be to try and save only one of the two kids by killing its twin.

    Mybe that’s why they gave the twins one name. 

    It really is heard to predict how parents will react to dire health problems of their babies and what decisions they will make.  In this case there are probably significat cultural differences between the parents and the readers of this blog.  The parents may believe that giving the twins one name makes it easier when horrible decisions have to be made.  It could also be that because it appears there is only one body that the parents consider the twins to be one person.  It is also possible that the doctors are not telling the parents the truth as Euromericans might see it.

  4. I just realized that my previous post may have sounded ethnocentric and cold, I really didn’t mean it that way.  Explaining what I meant may make it sound even worse, except to say that I am speaking from experiencing cultural differences both from traveling to other countries and from speaking to co-workers who are from other countries.

  5. Les, I noticed.

    Conjoined twins fall into the dorm room philosophy department – it’s futile to consider “what if” questions unless it is a real-life decision you have to make.

  6. TAFKA: Well, if I ever really needed further proof that there is no god, or if he does exist he’s the sickest, most twisted bastard ever, here it is.

    A-fucking-mon.

  7. With unlimited money and skill, the twins might make it separated – remember that we can produce artificial hearts!

  8. We can make artificial hearts for adults, but an infant/child grows way too fast for such.

  9. Man. Just… man.  downer 

    TAFKA Buzz: Well, if I ever really needed further proof that there is no god, or if he does exist he’s the sickest, most twisted bastard ever, here it is.

    I don’t get the Atheist By Anger thing. To me, it is just as odd as the healthy baby = miracle = proof positive of one or several gods thing.

  10. I’m not an Atheist by Anger, despite my earlier comment.  I’d be happy to explain to you the reasons that I don’t beleive in god, and I’ll tell you that they are not because I am angry at god.  I don’t believe in god, so I find no reason to be angry at him.  Personally (and I can only speak for myself) my anger is at the ignorance of those who believe anything they are fed whole cloth without ever considering that it might not be correct.

    I fully agree with you that it is as off as someone saying that a healthy baby is a miracle and thus proof of god.  That is just as silly as someone being an atheist because they are angry at god.  To me that person is not an atheist, they are just a pissed off christians/muslim/whatever and they claim atheism because they think that would hurt god/their parents/their religious friends the most.  At one point in the past when I was involved with a fundamentalist church, I was that person, but I’ve long since developed a rational mind and good solid reasons for not believing in god.

  11. TAFKA Buzz: To me that person is not an atheist, they are just a pissed off christians/muslim/whatever and they claim atheism because they think that would hurt god/their parents/their religious friends the most.

    Well, nevermind me then. I’m just the resident optimistic/pessimistic Pyrrhonian. You and I are somewhere on the same page, which is a little disappointing. I was in the mood to trump.  cheese

  12. Gods and religions aside, this is not a two headed baby but rather two individuals who facing the most shared type of life imaginable. They have already proven they have the will to live and I feel they should be left to live their lives together so that the two of them can share the most normal life possible. For a case in point look to Abigail and Brittany Hensel in Minnesota.  From what I have seen they are just two happy active beautiful people who are demonstrating to the world what compromise and cooperation can achieve as they share their life together.

  13. christina: remember that we can produce artificial hearts

    I like that idea, if the natural one isn’t strong enough, no need to reduce demand, just increase supply

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