Parents in Ambajogai, India were forced to say goodbye to their conjoined twins on Monday less than 24 hours after they were born.
The Free Press Journal reports the conjoined twins were born at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 and died less than a day later.
Doctors at the Government Medical College of Ambajogai said it is very rare that twins with their condition are born alive. The twins were diagnosed with dicephalic parapagus, which means they had their own heads and necks but shared a torso, according to the report.
Doctors said they died of respiratory failure and internal organ complications. It is likely that they were born prematurely, but the report does not give any indication of this.
“The twins were kept on ventilators after birth because their lungs were not developed and one of the babies was diagnosed with anencephaly (life-threatening brain and skull underdevelopment),” the doctors said.
The doctors indicated that they would have recommended an abortion if they had known about the twins’ condition sooner.
According to the report:
[Dr Sudhir] Deshmukh added the family being, farm laborers did not have enough money to conduct a sonography which could have revealed the condition of the foetus in time for an abortion. “The condition of the children was diagnosed only in the seventh month of gestation. By then the woman had passed the legal age of abortion,” he added. Doctors said that in most of such cases, delay in diagnosis results in families having to go through the trouble of witnessing the death of the children.
Abortion often is recommended when an unborn baby is diagnosed with a disability. Unborn babies with Down syndrome and fatal disorders are aborted at extremely high rates, but some doctors even recommend abortion for minor, repairable conditions such as cleft lips.
In cases of fatal anomalies, an abortion does not spare the unborn child or parents from pain and death. It merely kills the child, rather than allows them to die naturally. And it often deprives parents of the chance to hold and comfort their child for the short time they have together.