Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Stop separating all conjoined twins

It happened again. Doctors have tried to separate two newborn girls resulting in one of them dying.

We develop from a fertilized egg into a multi-cell organism by cell division. Sometimes it happens that the first division results in two identical fertilized eggs that develop into identical twins. And sometimes this still happens while the separation was not complete, resulting in conjoined identical twins.

They can have any part of the body fused and there is no conjoined couple that is similar to any other.

Two brains means two people, with their own temperament and wishes. Only one heart, two arms, and even intense neural connection between the two brains, none of that means that it’s really one person.

Sometimes such twins are not viable. Sometimes one body is so disadvantaged that it can’t survive. And sometimes the anatomy is such that one body threatens the survival of the other body. But normally, the twins can survive and grow up healthily.

However, also in this majority of cases, parents and physicians often want to have the twins surgically separated. Even if such an operation would possibly or even certainly threaten the health and survival of one or both twins. Why take such a risk? The answer is both simple and shocking: normalism: the irrational urge to make people look normal. We see this also in LGBTQ Oppression and in the way society deals with people who are (supposedly) crazy.

Medical attacks on our bodily integrity we also see when a child is born “intersex” (with characteristics of both sexes), with “too many” digits and other “abnormalities” which do not warrant medical interference. Transgender surgery often aims so eagerly to “adjust” sex appearance “to take away sex dysphoria” (unhappiness), as if a man with breasts or a woman with a penis must be unhappy, happiness lies in normalcy.

There is a stereotype that people who are physically different must be unhappy, sad, and that making them seem normal will free them from a dreadful future. There is no proof for connecting happy with normal.

Look at how happy these twins grew up: here, here, here.

Yes, maybe dating will become a problem. But do we kill people to prevent dating difficulties?

Even more so, what trauma does one get when one’s twin is killed supposedly to give you happiness? Nine months of the deepest friendship in the womb is cut away in the name of happiness?

And what is the moral quality of a society that kills abnormality?

When I was in medical school, anatomist did not recognize these creatures as people. They called them monstra, Latin for monsters. With the word we were presented pots with dead bodies like these.

There should be international law that forbid separation of conjoined twins unless one of the bodies is really not viable, there is no operation to make it viable and/or one body threatens the survival of the other.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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