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Ireland    MORAL THEOLOGIAN APPROVES OF 'INDIRECT' KILLING OF SIAMESE TWIN
An Irish moral theologian has said that the separation by surgery of the British Siamese twins, Mary and Jodie, would not be in violation of Catholic moral principles.
    Writing in the current issue of the Irish Catholic Father Seamus Murphy SJ, a lecturer in moral theology at the Milltown Institute in Dublin, said that "separating the twins would not violate that principle, since Mary's death would be a foreseen but indirect result of the operation."
    On Thursday the Archbishop of Westminster, Dr Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said it should be considered morally impermissible to attempt to save one twin's life at the expense of the other. He said the parents' refusal to consent to surgery to separate the twins was because "respect for the rights of both their children makes any other choice on their part morally impossible".
    But in Ireland, Fr Murphy said that "the relevant basic principle of Catholic moral teaching is that the innocent must not be deliberately attacked (as occurs in direct abortion). Separating the twins would not violate that principle, since Mary's death would be a foreseen but indirect result of the operation. To put it differently, separation is not the type of operation designed to kill anybody, so it is not the type of action that is intrinsically wrong."
   
Irish Times
   
18 Sep 00



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