Tyler loves lobster; Stefan prefers macaroni and cheese; Stefan's favorite cake is chocolate; Tyler's is vanilla; Stefan has a crush on actress and country pop vocalist Jennette McCurdy; Tyler prefers folk singer Steve Forbert.
"Why not change minds instead of bodies?" asks Alice Domurat Dreger.
Many people with unusual anatomies are completely comfortable with their bodies and derive their personal identities from them. It is the discomfort of their families and communities that most often exerts the pressure to change them.
Dreger looks at present-day and historical conjoined twins who have lived to adulthood [and] finds that they all, with one recent exception, would not want to be separated even if they could be.
High-risk separations are more often life-or-death situations. . . that require the deliberate sacrifice of one child in order to increase the viability of the other also force us into extremely difficult ethical decisions. -- New England Journal of Medicine
Providing historical and contemporary evidence that most adult conjoined twins do not desire to be separated, and that many surgeries are carried out on children too young to object, Dormurat Dreger voices distaste for Americans' failure to tolerate anatomical difference and instead fetishize individualism at all cost. -- Publishers Weekly
Pediatric surgeons so prize normalcy that they perform sexual surgery on infants without concern for adult function; they may also withhold information from parents, and even override their consent, when dealing with birth defects . . . -- The New Yorker
Dreger argues that the medically invasive, almost invariably life-threatening separation surgeries are unnecessary and performed, usually, before the people involved are old enough to consent to them. She claims that, historically, most conjoined twins have preferred conjoinment to [surgical separation]. -- Booklist
Dreger . . . invites us to see conjoined twins as 'no more broken than the rest of us.' -- Nature
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