I want to call attention to a rather interesting article by Gail Weiss, “Intertwined Identities: Challenges to Bodily Autonomy,” in the latest (well, 2009) issue of Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy. Here’s the abstract:
Over the last decade, the international media has devoted increasing attention to operations that separate conjoined twins. Despite the fairly low odds that a child or adult will survive the operation with all of their vital organs intact, most people fail to question the urgency of being physically separated from one’s identical twin. The drive to surgically tear asunder that which was originally joined, I suggest, is motivated in part by a refusal to acknowledge intercorporeality as a basic condition of human existence that doesn’t undermine identity but makes it possible in the first place.
Read the whole thing here (pdf).