Kill Mary to Save Jodie?

In a sad story of conjoined twins, a British court must resolve a case that pits parents against doctors

The distraught parents visit St. Mary's Hospital in Manchester, England, almost every day, crying over and comforting a baby they fear God plans to take from them. Or is it two babies? Their child, born on Aug. 8, is conjoined twins--two lives joined at a circular pelvis. One twin, called Mary in court papers to protect the family's anonymity, has a flaccid, useless heart, no working lungs and an underdeveloped brain. She can suck, kick and open one eye but may not have consciousness. Her bodymate Jodie is "bright, alert, sparkling...very much a 'with-it' sort of baby," say doctors who testified...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!