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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 09:10 GMT
Conjoined twins' doctors cleared
Ladan and Laleh Bijani
Doctors "did all they could" to save the Bijani twins
An inquest in Singapore has cleared doctors of criminal responsibility for the deaths of conjoined twins who died during surgery to separate them.

State coroner Malcolm Tan said the medical team had carried out extensive preparation ahead of the surgery on Iranian sisters Laleh and Ladan Bijani.

They had considered all religious and ethical aspects of their case, he said.

The 29-year-old sisters died during a complex operation last July which aimed to separate their enmeshed brains.

An Iranian doctor who adopted and raised the twins had accused the international team of doctors of killing the women.

'No coercion'

Returning a verdict of misadventure, Mr Tan said of the doctors: "What they sought to do was not to harm, but help the girls. They did all they could to save the girls.

"All ethical and religious concerns were considered. There was extensive pre-operative investigations and it was the twins themselves who desperately sought the operation."

Mr Tan added that a videotape presented to the court, in which the Bijani twins willingly signed a consent form to go ahead with the surgery at Raffles Hospital, showed that the women were "very relaxed" and that there was no coercion from any third party.

The BBC's Fergal Parkinson
"The twins have left a lasting impression"

Conjoined twins' inquest opens
11 Feb 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Iranian twins set for burial
12 Jul 03  |  Middle East
Mourning the loss of the twins
08 Jul 03  |  Middle East
Iranian twins die in surgery
08 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Conjoined twins
06 Jul 03  |  Medical notes

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