Janeway's Decision to Kill Tuvix

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by Godless Raven, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    And you are not doing this to Tuvok and Neelix?
     
  2. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    Bingo is right Taya, and you are caught in your own argument. This is a never ending circle. If you think we are caught, you are just as caught. Tuvok and Neelix are the donors Tuvix is not. And I'll bet law will see it that way.
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, I'm not. They're victims of an accident. That's not dehumanizing them at all. You're assigning blame for the accident to Tuvix when he didn't even exist before the accident happened.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Indeed. I have no idea what all of this has to do with organ donation by the way.

    It was horrible accident as death and birth went hand in hand and as the process is reversible.
    This makes it psychologically much more difficult than just death (which is of course already hard enough). It's kinda like when a mother dies during birth. If the father wasn't too eager to get a child in the first place he might blame this child for the death of his wife. It is understandable and human but it is also detestable and irrational.

    So let's think about Tuvix in a rational way. Either he lives on while Tuvok and Neelix remain dead or he is killed such than Tuvok and Neelix are resurrected. Whatever you do is wrong. And no, Tuvix acting as a constant reminder that Tuvox and Neelix are no more because he is a merger of both (or in short, that he is a freak) is no argument for his death. In matters of life and death we should really try to be as rational as possible.
     
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To restore Anika Hansen would have meant bringing the 7 year old girl out again from the other side of all that Borg Horror. Deleting all those horrible experiences, deleting the thousands of other personalities whispering math and secrets into her ear, deleting the repositiory of the Collectives general knowledge, as well as forever and completely silencing her hidden experiences of growing up in the garden of Unimatrix Zero.

    That creature Janeway decided to raise as a daughter was not a human beng at all but a patchwork quilt remnant of the Borg Collective.

    Would Seven Year old Anika have wanted to live her own life, or would she have been hunky dorey to have been a Borg slave for the next 20 years, if she had an option? If they wound back the clock in her mind to the the preBorg seven year old version... It would have been easy to also give Anika the body of a seven year old to match her intellect rather than leaving a childs mind in the frame of a 28 year old sex goddess and waiting for Kim to hit on her.

    (Like in those episodes of Arrested Development where Michael didn't notice that Charlize Theron was retarded because she was so attractive and spoke in an english accent.)
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Would it have been immoral to disassemble Frankenstein's monster if the donors of those body parts could have been restored into living people? It seems like the same scenario to me.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There was an episode of the medical drama Monday Mornings recently where the doners family found out that their son's parts were being given to a suicide survivor and they vetoed the donation because since they were Christian and they could not even tacitly support Suicide.

    That can't be legal.
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    ^ It certainly doesn't sound right. It's not like there's a tracking ticket available for the relatives to trace where their loved one's eyeballs are going. It's my impression that specific destinations of organs is confidential.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was the same hospital. Two rooms over. It's also David E Kelly, who writes outrageous shit until he finds a controversy which some effete member of the intelligencia can win out with an impassioned moral plea about how they are the best they are at their job.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Ah. I've never followed any of his shows though I know he's highly regarded. I caught a few episodes of some, but it wasn't the type of stuff that interested me because it was too much contemporary drama. I prefer action/adventure formats. Scifi, spies, westerns, etc.
     
  11. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    While it's not completely the same scenario it does come close. The true immorality was Frankenstein stealing the body parts in the first place whether or not the bodies can be reanimated. At least in the eyes "of opt-in" donor countries. And to further complicate the situation the Doctor that declares death cannot perform the transplant either, which puts our doctor in a double bind. He is wrong which ever way he turns.

    In fact he lost his chance to get out of the situation when he researched a solution to the problem of returning Tuvok and Neelix. That suggests that no one on Voyager was interested in declaring either one of the two men dead.

    The last can of worms is Vulcan mysticism, I believe (and correct me if I am wrong here) that Tuvok did not subscribe to the concept of the Katra. But that does not preclude his wife or children's' belief, or given Vulcan lifespans he may even have parents still alive that could have an opinion on the matter. Remember even Opt-out donor systems can be denied the deceased if someone acting as a guardian says no.

    Janeway is right when she says someone has to speak for the two members that cannot speak for themselves. She may even be bound by federation law to make the decision she did.

    Like I said earlier, this looks like a cold way of approaching the situation, but this is why justice is depicted as wearing a blindfold. There is way too much emotion to go any other route. With no good answer, one can only choose the lawful one.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In Workforce they all had assumed identities who should have fought tooth and nail to stay alive when the crew of Voyager tried reassert themselves.
     
  13. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    Such awesomeness deserves recognition. Guy this is perfect. I do need to acknowledge, that it was you that got me thinking about the organ donor angle, and Google that pointed me in the right direction.
     
  14. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So what's the Federation law and how do the facts--as set down in the episode--pan out?

    1. Tuvok and Neelix dematerialized in a transporter stream and rematerialized as one being who was a combination of the two at the molecular level. This being did not exist before that point so had no culpability in his own creation. He did not cause the accident. He was the result of the accident.

    2. This being was a unique and new lifeform. Sentient lifeforms have rights under Federation law. Rights are not based on whether or not one finds the lifeform odd or creepy. Nor are they based on an officer's whim.

    3. This unique individual called himself Tuvix.

    4. He was a sentient being. He thought, he was self-aware. He was assigned to the bridge and proved his competence there. His thinking was not Tuvok at some times and Neelix at others, but a unique combination of the two. As an example, he used intuition and logic to solve a problem in hours that Tuvok had said would take weeks using logic alone.

    5. Captain Janeway commended him in her logs. Her first officer described Tuvix as more than the sum of his parts. This is further evidence that he is a sentient, unique being.

    6. The Hippocratic oath forbids the Doctor from performing a medical procedure on a patient who has declined it. Tuvix, as a sentient being, has the right under Federation law to decline. The Doctor acted as he should have under the dictates of his professional oath.

    (An aside here... The only way current transplant law fits as a precedent for this case is in the cases of live donors. We cannot force a living donor to give up a portion of his or her body to save another--not even an identical twin--if the donor forbids it. No one can force you to risk your life to save another).

    Under Federation law, as set down in episodes across all the series, and under his own professional ethics, the Doctor acted appropriately.

    Contrary to assertions in this thread, it is not moral under *any* system of contemporary human morals to kill another to save a loved one from death. One might wish he could, but to act upon that wish would be murder. (On a personal note, I'm really glad the thought never crossed my mind, because I'd probably still be working with a shrink a decade later, wrestling with the knowledge that I could even conceive of such a thing...)

    There are actually cases in contemporary medical law (not transplant law) that could be argued as precedent: under the law, one cannot force a woman to have a cesarean to save the life of her unborn child. Not even if she is dying.
     
  15. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    That's my point. It's entertaining to speculate but talking about killing and reanimating and murder are at odds with the idea that the show is intended to be thought provoking but not to the point of ridicule. It's supposed to make you think 'well what would I do in that situation?' Some people say they would allow things to continue without interference and other people say they would bring back the original people. It's an ethical call. That's really as far as this argument can go without beginning to sound ridiculous.
     
  16. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kelley's a lawyer. He'll find something, let it percolate in his brain till the most outrageous scenario comes up. I haven't watched the show so have no idea how the family found out who was getting an organ from their loved one and what the recipient's medical issues were. They would not be told, however I could imagine them overhearing something in the corridor or elevator: HIPAA breaches happen.

    (Donor families and recipients can be introduced if both sides are willing. It is, however, not at all unusual for the kidney recipients to meet each other--they're often in the same hospital under the care of the same transplant team. My sweetie and the recipient of the left kidney from the same donor corresponded until she died 6 years later).

    However, yes, directed donation is legal. That's a pretty far-fetched scenario, though.

    However far less far-fetched than the episode of Grey's Anatomy that had a doctor cutting the LVAD line of the patient she'd fallen in love with to move him to the top of the transplant list--and didn't lose her medical license in the process. That one really was beyond the Pale. And was the episode that turned me off medical dramas for good. I just can't suspend disbelief that much,
     
  17. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually find it funny that we in the scifi community discuss these ethical issues to death, and when they come into the mainstream they don't even create more than a "huh".

    I'm specifically thinking of some news stories on cloning, a few years ago, that generated no angst as far as the network news anchors were concerned. I recall one of them suggesting, when a cloning story was introduced, that "nothing will ever be the same again" and my heckle from the peanut gallery was... "sure it will... it will be the same over and over until the copies degrade beyond use."

    Well... I'm being extreme.. I do remember back in the 90's how a family got some guff from the public by having another baby to save the life of their teenaged daughter who needed a transplant.
     
  18. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    Except you quoted no law, only what happened and the only difference between your version and mine is that I say the body belongs to Tuvok and Neelix and you say it belongs to Tuvix. There is going to be a loss of self no matter which way you turn. Every argument you make in favor of Tuvix can just as easily be made against. Tuvix was not deconstructed back into Tuvok and Neelix because he was odd or creepy, he was deconstructed because their claim to life was judged to be the greater claim.

    Now it's true we don't know Federation Law, but the assumption is unless noted because we can only perceive with modern sensibilities, the law must be comparable with ours. It is the producer and writer's job to tell us if something is different. The question is and has always been "who owns my body." We are fighting a great political war right now in the US over this very question.

    It's a fight that questions another's right to tell us who we can love, and how to express that love. They want to tell us what we can do with our own bodies. Out of this will come laws, one way or another. But I am choosing to fight for the right to my own body and how it is used.

    You should have every right to say "I wouldn't want my life back in such a situation," but you have no right (nor did Tuvix) to make that decision for anyone else. It would have been totally immoral and unethical to not take Tuvok's or Neelix's feelings into consideration. Yes this was the result of an accident, but they also didn't have a choice and when you get down to the bottom of the argument, I think that Tuvok and Neelix had the better argument, especially in light of what is going on now.

    Now in my opinion and again IMHO, I believe the laws governing organ donations will be even more stringent in the future. And that opinion is based in the knowledge that even as we speak there is a black market for transplant organs. How much better do we have to get at repairing bodies with donor parts for this to become a world wide problem involving the murder of people and the harvesting of organs?

    You are not quite right, the law in the US and Canada expressly forbid the use of anyone's body even after death unless permission has been given either by the person who gave permission before his death, or the permission of the next of kin afterward.

    Well I'd like to believe we think deeper than a lot of people LOL. But I think there has been a lot of Science Fiction that deals with these dilemmas. We all know that Trek was especially good at this. The best Science Fiction I can think of that deals with organ donation and "organleggers" is by Larry Niven. He has three really good short stories and a couple of novella's put together in one book that is still available on Amazon. Flatlander

    http://www.amazon.com/Flatlander-La...d=1367348132&sr=1-1&keywords=flatlander+niven
     
  19. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a good point you make, that the 'mainstream' wouldn't bother to think much on an issue like this, while we're going at it tooth and nail on our respective positions. To a lot of people the closest thing to an ethical dilemma on tv is who backstabbed who to win at the latest reality show. Nothing wrong with that, even if I find it disappointing at times.

    Cloning... well sooner or later this will become practical to the point where we see it often enough and some sort of consensus regulating it will have to be reached.

    I never heard of that case you cited in the 90's... and I gotta say I find that kind of disturbing. That second kid has as much of a right to live as the first to me. I can understand the desperation to save one's child... but at the same time, you're killing your own child to save one you just happen to like more. Ugh.. life is not something to be casually interchanged like a part in a car.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    On the other hand, the message of Never Let Me Go was unrelentingly bleak.

    Not sure what you're referring to but usually what happens is a genetic match is selected for IVF and then that child can provide some kind of non-invasive genetic support to a defective sibling. There isn't anywhere in the world where one child will be sacrificed to save another unless the sacrificial child is already brain dead and is being used for organ donation in the usual manner.

    Embryonic procedures are obviously different and are subject to the rules of whatever country you live in.