Season 5, Ep 16: "Ethics"

  • Avatar of CjTl2005


    [1]Jul 15, 2012
    • member since: 10/29/06
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    This episode rubbed me the wrong way. Spoilers to follow -- but hey! The episode is 20 years old.

    I loathe an aversion to risk-taking, especially after all options have been eliminated. That last part is the key. There was a scenario in which the character Dr. Russell goes ahead and tries a riskier treatment on a patient without attempting conventional means. I have more of a problem with that unless -- and Dr. Russell expressed it -- you can show evidence why you believe the conventional means may not work. In such a situation, you don't have time for conferences,committeemeetings, or political maneuvering. Besides, if you never push the envelope, no progress will be made. I understand there's a right and a wrong way to do it, but I think our mentality today removes intuition and experience from the process in favor of "CYA". With this mentality, I doubt we'd have ever broken the sound barrier, gone to the moon, or succeeded in curing smallpox. All that said, I can agree that Russell should have tried the tried and true methods, but been ready to go another direction at a moments notice. Diving straight for the unproven method just to snag a little data is unethical.

    In Worf's case, theoutcomes ended up in the same place with one exception. Take the risk and possibly make a full recovery. Every other course of action led to death. He consented to the treatment. Case closed. There is no ethical breach here.

    Dr Crusher's attitude was more of prejudice and pride than of trying to do everything she can for the patient. Again, status quo, no risk, no progress. She projected her problems with Dr. Russell's unilateral decision from earlier onto her success with Worf, which was even better supported than the first decision. Major problems with that. They are separate incidents.

    Not the most exciting episode, but certainly thought-provoking.

    Edited on 07/14/2012 11:02pm
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  • Avatar of pferreira86


    [2]Jul 22, 2012
    • member since: 03/17/06
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    Well said. I think the episode was supposed to rub you the wrong way because of the difficult subject matter. What I always liked about this episode was Worf being such a proud Klingon who would rather die than live as a cripple. Worf's dignity was always a problem for him.

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