BANGALORE, India - Doctors began operating Tuesday on a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs in an extensive surgery that they hope will leave the girl with a normal body, a hospital official said.
The girl named Lakshmi is joined to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in the mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.
If the soul comes into being at the moment of conception, where is the soul of the absorbed twin? Would Christian fundamentalists regard this operation as abortion? If not, why not?
BANGALORE, India, Nov. 13, 2007
(CBS/AP) Nearly a week after surgeons removed the extra limbs from an Indian girl born with four arms and four legs, the bright-eyed 2-year-old made her first public appearance Tuesday after leaving the hospital's intensive care unit.
Swathed in blankets and lying on her father's lap, the girl, named Lakshmi, appeared before reporters without the extra limbs which had led some people in her rural village to revere her as an incarnation of the four-armed goddess she was named after.
Looking healthy and alert, Lakshmi had both of her legs in casts while her arms were free. After sitting for photographs, her parents quickly ushered her off the stage without speaking to reporters.
Lakshmi's doctors were encouraged by her progress and said she was responding well enough to treatment to leave the hospital's intensive care unit.
Everything seems to be working right -- cardiac, the nervous system, respiratory system, and her G.I. system, reports Dave Price of CBS' The Early Show.
"She is coping very well and she is stable," said chief surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil. "Lakshmi is safe at the moment."
Lakshmi had a 25 percent chance of not even surviving the surgery, reports Price.