New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Bihar government to give financial help to conjoined twins Saba and Farah Saleem and take care of their medical expenses along with regular check up of the twins. Directing the state government to provide financial help to the family of the twins, the court also ordered Patna Medical College and Hospital to undertake regular checkups of Saba and Farah.
The Supreme Court has also ordered Patna Medical College to undertake regular checkups of Saba and Farah. The 15-year-old conjoined twins have been facing a lot of hardship as they come from a poor family. Saba and Farah have been bedridden and are experiencing persistent, acute pain and distress and are neither able to sleep adequately nor get up from their bed.
The Supreme Court had earlier expressed displeasure against the Bihar government for its "perpetual absence" during adjudication of the matter relating to the conjoined twins of Patna for whom the efforts are being made to provide medical and financial aid.
"The state of Bihar is perpetually absent," a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra had remarked on November 2, 2012 while deliberating the issue of providing medical aid and financial help for the conjoined twins.
The bench had also asked Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra to look into the issue of providing grants to them. The bench took on record the report of the specially- constituted three-member AIIMS team which had visited Patna on October 21, 2012 to examine them.
The report said the family members of the conjoined twins were averse to their medical examinations which included "risks involved in investigations." It noted that according to the patients' brother, one of the twins does not have kidneys, and they have one common sagittal sinus (biggest vein) between their brains. The doctors, however, said "there is no evidence/ investigation to either prove or disprove these statements made by the brother."
The report said "the statements made by the brother regarding kidneys and sagittal sinus also need extensive investigations which will have to include CT scan, MRI angiography ... and investigations for other organ functions and can be performed by experts at AIIMS.
The twins' father, Mohammad Shakeel, is a tea stall owner in Patna, had pleaded for mercy killing for his twins in 2011. An expert team headed by American specialist Dr Benjamin Carson about 5 years ago opined that separating Saba and Farah would require five or six operations, spread over nine months, but each stage held a one-in-five chance that one of the girls might die. The twins' family had decided against the surgery despite Abu Dhabi's crown prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed offering to pay for it.
A team under Dr Carson, had found that they shared a vital blood vessel in the brain and that Farah had two kidneys, while Saba had none.
(With additional information of PTI)