Topic: PhD confirmation - Legal responses in conjoined twins cases

Presenter: Ms Colleen Davis - PhD Candidate - TC Beirne School of Law

Surgical separation of conjoined twins that results in the death of one of the twins raises complex moral, ethical and legal issues. Of particular concern is the potential for homicide charges against doctors and parents. A threshold issue is whether conjoined twins are two persons capable of being killed. However, existing legal definitions of beings that can be the victim of homicide are inadequate to resolve this important preliminary question in some cases involving conjoined twins. The presentation will outline the legal approach taken in three conjoined twins court cases. It will then use examples of other recent cases to illustrate the difficulties in applying existing legal definitions to infants who do not fit the conventional 'one body one person' concept that underpins the law.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:

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