Janeway's Decision to Kill Tuvix

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

  1. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm aware of that. I am the widow of a transplant patient and I did my post-grad thesis in medical ethics in transplant medicine.

    What I said is that the only current transplant medicine precedents that have any bearing on this episode would be live-donor transplantation (kidneys and portions of livers can be taken from live donors).

    Tuvix is alive.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I know this has been brought up before, and I know people are rejecting it out of hand based on personal or moral or legalistic interpretations, but...

    I still see the episode as a variation on the ancient possession stories from fables, fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction genres, with a distinctive Star Trek twist this time around. In such stories, the object is always (well usually) to get the original person back. With "Tuvix" it's still that same basic story, but this time they just want us to think about it. It doesn't matter what we believe. Just that we consider the alternatives. There is no right and wrong moment.
     
  3. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The case cited was dissected and discussed in my medical ethics class--it was current news at the time.

    It involved a kid who needed a bone marrow transplant. Her parents conceived a child in the hope that the child would be a good match.

    A bone marrow transplant uses a live donor. The risks are minimal to the donor, and primarily related to general anesthesia. The patient is put under, multiple taps are done into the iliac crests to harvest the marrow.

    It is perfectly legal, as the parents have the right to make the decision for both children.

    The ethical questions in that case came down more on the psychological effect on the donor child. What if the procedure didn't work and her sister died anyway? Would the circumstances of her birth change the way her parents viewed her? Would she be a child loved as much as the sibling or was she simply replacement parts?

    An extract from The Lancet from 1997 follows up on a similar case in the UK in 1987. The final paragraph points to the biggest ethical question in these cases: when is the donor tested? The medical community overwhelming says to wait until after the child is born, not in utero, both because of risk to the fetus from the procedure, and because there are those who would abort the fetus if it wasn't a match.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)63774-9/fulltext
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm, that's different then. It sounded worse the way it was worded originally. And in the 90's well... let's just say I was more interested in other things than current events. :p

    Thank you for the explanation. The psychological issues on the younger child... well, I suppose there could be some and something the parents would have to factor in. I would have to agree until after the child is born to start testing.
     
  5. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    This is a very good take on the problem, and one worth thinking about.

    And Taya, Tuvok and Nelix are alive too, and they were alive first. Like I said any argument you can make can be just as easily applied the other way.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, but in order to restore Neelix and Tuvok you had to murder another sentient being.

    And haven't we already discussed TNG's "Measure of a Man" which established that Data (and by extension other beings) have the right to determine their own path.

    Tuvix had the right to live, It wasn't Janeway's life to take. Accidents happen.
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    But this is exactly why I prefaced the comment with "I know people are rejecting it out of hand based on personal or moral or legalistic interpretations".

    The episode is asking the viewer to put themselves in Janeway's shoes. There's no right or wrong answer, which is the entire point of the episode.
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ain't that the truth.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Last year Meredith Grey had a nightmare, that posited the existence of a mirror universe where her mother had left her father thirty years earlier to be with Chief Webber, who had raised her to be a good girl. Everything was skew. They were all hilariously ####ing the wrong people. Over lunch our heroes mention "Izzy" and the LVAD, but in this case they called her a crazy lady who Merideth had ratted out instantly, who was now still on the run from the law with Denny's missing bloody heart in a satchel at her side.

    In the case of the Monday Mornings episode, they did go before a judge to sort this out, who was delighted about how confusing and fresh this case was... But then it was discovered that the suicide was not a suicide, and that a junkie had pushed a go gooder grad student off a roof and everyones opinions on everyone involved changed.
     
  10. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    And to allow that being to live you have to murder Tuvok and Neelix. All arguments can be easily reversed, because there is no answer. Only different points of view.
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No... no one murdered Tuvok and Neelix. Tuvok and Neelix died in an accident, creating Tuvix. Tuvix was deliberately murdered to bring Tuvok and Neelix back to life.

    There's all the moral difference in the world between an accident that was no one's fault and willfully murdering someone against their will.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nah.

    The writers stumbled into this. When they were putting pen to paper they would have assumed that EVERYONEINTHEUNIVERSE would respect Kathryn for making the hard choice because it was the right choice.

    Her shit does not stink.

    Is this an episode about a Captain with no correct choice to pick from, a story about a captain cheating to defy shitty options or a Captain going off the rails?

    If this is the third from up there, then what this episode is actually comparable to In the Pale Moonlight, where you have to ask not if what the Captain did was right or wrong, but if after they did something WRONG, if what she did is forgiveable?
     
  13. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I never know whether to take you seriously or not... Was this an episode? If so, awesome. If not, you should be writing for that show.

    I could have accepted that the hospital tried to cover Izzy's idiocy in order to preserve their status. That absolutely no other staff member stepped forward to expose the mess was what was totally unbelievable.

    *sigh* Kelley wrote himself into a corner again. And kind of pulled a "Tuvix." Unfortunate...
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, the Voyager writers, especially Jeri Taylor, put Janeway in the position to "make the tough call" so often, she just became a parody at best and down right silly at worst.
     
  15. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You win the internets today.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Season 8 episode 13.

    Here's some pictures and critical analysis

    http://www.tvfanatic.com/2012/02/greys-anatomy-review-meet-meredith-webber/?ModPagespeed=noscript

    And here's the imdb listing

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2187691/

    Back to reality (snigger.)

    You'll recall that when questioned that all the medical students insisted (except Alex, who said "screw this") that it was they who cut the LVAD, and then Izzy gave the hospital 8 million dollars to start a free clinic, which has probably since been closed due to awful management and the many routine disasters the hospital attracts.

    Dr Hahn (blonde lesbian number one.) when she found out about the LVAD wire (years/seasons later) because it directly impacted on one of her patients at her old in competition hospital went mental and started redemanding that everyone involved got fired.
     
  17. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was off a little, it was 1988.

    http://www.today.com/id/43265160/ns/today-good_news/t/born-save-sisters-life-shes-glad-i-am-family/

    Some of the concerns IIRC were along the lines of what would the baby feel (once grown), if the transplant wasn't successful and her sister died "anyway". Would she feel like a failure to her family, her parents? Would the parents not love her "as much" if despite all their heroics their first daughter died anyway?

    Lots of questions, as the Doctor in the clip suggested, questions that get different answers when you look at it emotionally instead of "simply" ethically.

    Its nice to know that everything for these two girls, worked out in the end.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I remember the hubbub over that case.
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a bit wigged by the moral pearing some of us have decided is allowed if there is no design behind Tuvix's conception.

    B'Elanna at one time encouraged the Doctor to repeatedly induce brain damage so that she might continue having an entertaining dream, nothing about the fate of the universe, just a lark, with no fear or concern about how low her IQ got on the other side of this adventure.

    If she had become a simpleton who took delight in being a simpleton, would the Doctor and Janeway feel compelled to re-inflate her intellect against this new B'Elanna's adamant instructions?

    You know, like what happened to Tuvok in season 6.