Conjoined twins and suicide: a thought experiment

Which decision is more unethical?

  • A conjoined twin taking the life of their sibling in the process of ending their own life

    Votes: 28 87.5%
  • A conjoined twin keeping their sibling alive against their will for the sake of their own life

    Votes: 4 12.5%

  • Total voters
    32

Hellbound Hellhound

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Consider the following scenario: you have a set of conjoined twins and one wants to end their life. Surgical separation is not possible without both of them dying, and one dying would result in the death of the other as well. Could it ever be ethical for one twin to end their life and take the life of their twin in the process? Could it somehow be more unethical for the other twin to insist that their sibling must continue living against their will for their own sake? Thoughts?
 

Nonconsentual Pronouns

Apocalyptic Troon Patrol
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I think it's possible that both options are equally shitty, but it's hard to say, IMO.

I very much don't believe in forcing someone to stay alive to forcibly prolong whatever suffering it is that they're trying to escape. I know I'd desperately want to die if I had to live the way they do. It's especially sick and fucked up to forcibly prolong the suffering of someone who's not long for this world anyway. Don't conjoined twins have astoundingly short life expediencies due to their horrible, agonizing deformities?

On the other hand, I don't know if forcibly taking someone else's life to end your own suffering is any better if the person you're incidentally killing is innocent. But in the case of conjoined twins, it might honestly count as a mercy killing to take your twin with you.

So I guess I'm leaning a bit towards forced life in this case being more unethical than forced death, but I'm not totally set on it.
 

Ophelia Jones

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This is very thunk provoking. If one of them shoots himself in the brain, would the other one still be alive? Does 1 working brain = life? What would they do with the dead ones corpse? They would have to go through with it an attempt to surgically remove them, right?
 

StyrofoamFridge

The Octoroon Child of Brittany Venti & Null
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This is very thunk provoking. If one of them shoots himself in the brain, would the other one still be alive? Does 1 working brain = life? What would they do with the dead ones corpse? They would have to go through with it an attempt to surgically remove them, right?
Seperation has an extremely high chance of failure even if one twin is the "sacrificial lamb." The various types of conjoined twins influences the outcome from possibly saving one, both, or neither of them. The seperation has to be planned to have a 60-80% chance of at least one or both twins surviving if possible. Emergency seperation has only a 6-30% chance of survival. Lots of variables.

Conjoined twins usually have the best cooperation skills and bonds of humanity; They tough things out and compromise. Suicide and sacrifice are generally out of the question if they are cognitive and bonded.
 

Kuritan Deplorable

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Jul 19, 2020
Gonna have to side with the living. Death is inevitable, the twin who wants to die will get what they want no matter what. Life is finite, the twin who wants to live can never get that back.

Chemical Lobotomy is really the actual answer here, but goes against the thought experiment.
 

Finder

War is epic, freedom is cringe, ignorance is based
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The most unethical is bringing conjoined twins into the world when that can be largely prevented in modern countries.

That said it is less ethical to kill your other twin so you don't have to live any more. I wonder how this works from a depression standpoint though, what happens if you are so depressed you're stuck in bed and the other twin can't leave? How do you actually navigate these issues?
 

mindlessobserver

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I think it's irrelevant as usually the reason conjoined twins are not separated is because one of the twins would die, i.e, they share a major artery or some shit. If there was a compelling reason to separate them it would happen.
 

Embaby Cumjar

Pale, without name or number
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Apr 30, 2021
This reminds me of those two conjoined sisters where one is trans. Of course the tardiest deformed one with CP chose to be trans and relied on her more normal looking sister 100 percent for free care. Even made them turn down a surgery to separate them. What if a conjoined twin decided to be trans and took HRT and the other was not trans and they had to suffer the side effects of unwanted cross sex hormones? Like a cis woman being forced to follow her twin's muh trans rights and deal with gross stuff like excessive body hair and enlarged clit?
This makes me wonder. Can conjoined twins rape each other?
Actually a good question. I've always wondered if not being able to have any form of private sexuality would lead to them having fucked up sexual boundaries and encourage molestation.
 

Retired Junta Member

Currently on the run.
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This is very thunk provoking. If one of them shoots himself in the brain, would the other one still be alive? Does 1 working brain = life? What would they do with the dead ones corpse? They would have to go through with it an attempt to surgically remove them, right?
eh... most of the times removal is impossible and both die.
But i guess that if removal is impossible even with the sacrifice of one the twins, whatever sickness took one, would take the other too at the same time.