Sunday, June 19, 2011

When they find a "vanishing twin" on ultrasound...

Every day, in clinics around the world, pregnant women are being told by radiologists that one of their twins is "vanishing".  The idea of "vanishing" twins hardly describes what is really going on - a tiny twin  has died, will gradually disintegrate and in time no longer be visible.  They are not spirited away and do not suddenly disappear.




It is a pity that such a term was ever invented. It encourages all kinds of false beliefs.


One such is that one twin is taken by aliens to another place where they are used for experiments on humans, using the twin as a natural clone.   Fetus-snatching is a well-known crime here on earth, but is a method of murder of mother and often the child too, by prenatal predators.  Compared with that, ETs seem quite benign!

Another false belief is that the twin is "absorbed" by the mother or by the other twin, giving rise to the idea that the survivor  "ate their twin."  This is not cannibalism,  however hard some people may try to call it that.

None of these ideas are helpful to womb twin survivors.  As public awareness increases about the psychological effect on the survivor when a twin does before birth, then perhaps people will be a little bit more tactful about how they describe this phenomenon.  "My twin died" is a more honest description than, "My twin vanished."

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