Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctrine of necessity could allow separation of twins

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 16 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:653
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The doctrine of necessity could open the way for doctors to operate to separate Siamese twins Jodie and Mary without committing an unlawful killing even though the weaker twin will die, the Appeal Court in London was told this week.

    Lawyers appointed by the attorney general to advise the three judges on the criminal law told the court that this would need only a small development in the common law, relying on the doctrine of necessity and the question of how far an unlawful act can be excused if the …

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