I'm surprised "ethics" would have that effect since the audience knows Worf isn't dead.
There was no such assurance for the audience during the first run. Starting with killing Tasha in late/mid Season 1, writing Crusher out for Season 2, writing Pulaski out and bringing Crusher back for Season 3, and then leaving JLP's future up in the air between the end of 3 and 4 over Stewart's contract, there was no feeling of certainty in regards to anyone's fate. When it first aired, I thought they really had killed him off. So Beverly breaking the news to Alexander, and the way Gates delivered it, was very moving.