Last week's failed attempt to separate the 29-year-old sisters from Iran, Ladan and Laleh Bijani, has spawned a lively international bioethics debate that is described in a story
by Denise Grady in today's New York Times. Dr. Mark Siegler's flip-flop on the issue is especially worth pondering. Is he right that a 50% chance of survival is too low for the surgeons ethically to perform the requested separation when the surgery wasn't necessary to treat a life-threatening condition? How relevant is the label "elective" as a description of the surgery, which was so deperately sought by the twins, whose competence cannot really be debated?