Was altering Kurn's memory "Kahlessian"?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by indolover, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Merlanthe

    Merlanthe Commander Red Shirt

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    Any regulation starfleet has toward uniforms is lax at best. Riker was just using that regulation as an excuse to act like a jerk towards Ro a fact which becomes quite clear a couple scenes later when they are assembled in the magic meeting room and lo and behold Worf has his klingon sash and Troi isnt even in uniform. Yet no one tells them off for breaking the very lax startfleet uniform regulations.
     
  2. Merlanthe

    Merlanthe Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the reaosn why Worf got away with killing Gowron is because he not only removed his comm badge, the symbol that identifies him as a member of starfleet, but specifically declared that everything he says and does in that moment onward is as a member of the house of Martok and not a starfleet officer.

    With Duras he just removed the comm badge then claimed later that what he did was legal according to Klingon law so he got a stern lecture form a disappointed Picard. But with Gowron he made sure to specify that he was acting as a Klingon citizen and not a member of starfleet.

    Also Gowron had been screwing up the war against the dominion for petty political reasons. Sisko specifically told Worf to deal with the issue. And all of the top Klingon generals as well as their new leader were all happy with Worf for deposing Gowron so starfleet had plenty of good reasons to ignore Word killing Gowron.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Ignoring the murder of Kurn would also be in Starfleet's interests: it would do them no good to stain the reputation of their only housebroken Klingon at a time when the role of said Klingon as an on-the-spot mediator was a crucial one.

    We don't know if such an oath is part of the 24 medical practice any more. It's sort of going out of fashion today already... In Trek, only the EMH has indicated being bound by it, and he may be considered something of an exception, much like even perfectly humanoid Asimovian robots are exceptions when it comes to murder 'n stuff.

    Bashir has certainly chosen to do harm previously, firing his sidearm at various opponents or piloting a runabout in combat.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It's one of those grey areas, Worf acted within Klingon Customs. As I believe someone else mentioned, if Sisko was an example to go by, Starfleet might not have been to sad to see the back of Gowron who was risking the entire war effort will poorly conceived plans.

    Besides the room the fight took place in could have been granted embassy status, gien that the leader of the Klingon Empire was there.

    Though in the case of Gowron it's rather Ironic that Worf was responsible for both his rise and fall as Chancellor.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Doctor Crusher erased someone's memory on two or three occasions (or tries too) without the person's expressed permission. So it's apparently not against Starfleet medical ethics.

    Deanna Troi routinely looks into peoples minds and then announce when she discovered there to the entire room, hows that for a violation of medical ethics?

    :)
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We have to consider whether medical ethics extend to a medical practitioner's entire life, or just his or her practicing of medicine.

    Bashir readily kills people when acting in his role as a Starfleet officer, general swashbuckler or private citizen. He's not a doctor all the time, nor does he pretend to be one: there is no equivalent of the Red Cross sign to make Star Trek medics non-targets in warfare, and no practical indication that medics wouldn't be well-armed combatants, either.

    Crusher could be a tender and caring doctor most of the time - but when called to erase a memory as part of her general duty to protect the Federation, she can and will drop her medical persona, take up arms and inflict damage on the enemies of the Federation. (And then return to her medical duties as if nothing had happened.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, this all the difference. Worf killed Duras on a Klingon ship, out of Picard's jurisdiction. And since it was within the bounds of Klingon law, they were fine with it. Picard reprimanded him for doing it and was "disappointed" but that's it.

    Worf tried to kill Kurn on the station, which I am guessing is against both Starfleet and Bajoran rules. What I found stupid was how was Worf planning to get away with it? Let's say he did go through with the ritual, then what? Hide the body? Vaporize it? What would have happened when Odo started looking into the whereabouts of the Klingon who'd come aboard then disappeared? If Worf had gone somewhere else with Kurn to do the ritual it would have been no big deal.

    (It can be argued that Worf should have gotten in trouble for killing Gowron at the end of S7 on the station, but since Sisko pretty much gave him permission to do it and Gowron sort of provoked the fight, he got away with it)

    I thought the conflict in Sons of Mogh was good right up until the horrible, horrible ending.
     
  8. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    To actually answer the question, I think wiping Kurn's memory was a very un-Kahless thing to do. It does not restore his honor, it only placates him in the here and now. When he crosses the river of blood, he would do so as Kurn and will still be dishonored. Worf might as well have let him commit suicide.

    Another way to look at it is like this; What would Martok say about it? I bet Worf would never want him to find out what he did to his own brother. From a Klingon standpoint, it was a dishonorable thing to do. From a Starfleet standpoint it was a violation of the person's rights to do that without their permission.

    :guffaw: I literally LOL'ed at that. This is how I'm going to refer to Worf henceforward.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That doesn't ring true, though. If a serviceman today commits crimes on his free time, martial law might not be able to do much about it directly - but the rules and regulations would definitely cover this from another angle, and the serviceman would be stripped of rank, privilege and honor, and fired for not being a good guy during his off hours. This would definitely extend to the serviceman being caught of, say, pedophilia in Thailand, or armed robbery in Bulgaria, or whatever.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe that's the way it is today, and perhaps that's what should have happened to Worf, but that's obviously not what happened in "Reunion." The conversation between the two concludes that because Worf acted on a Klingon ship and within the bounds of Klingon law and tradition, he's okay with them. And Picard just gives him a reprimand. Perhaps he goes easy on him because he doesn't want to lose his housebroken Klingon ;)
     
  11. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain


    I believe the "do no harm" part of the oath means "do no harm to patients under my care."

    That's quite disturbing.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But if I'm practicing combat medicine on the battlefield, everybody is a "patient under my care", especially the enemy trooper whose arm I just blew off with my machine gun.

    Starfleet medics are combatants, meaning they have to confront the above situation often enough. The idea of separating victims into those I care for and those I don't doesn't work very well, then. Crusher would be facing a battlefield often enough, also (and especially) inside her own sickbay; much of the time, she'd be tasked with wielding a weapon there.

    This makes it a bit pretentious of her to do no harm during working hours or with specific patients or whatever the specifics. A good reason to drop the pretense, then, and to accept that occasionally it is the medic's duty to do harm, just like it on occasion is the Chief Engineer's duty to see to it that machinery gets damaged or destroyed.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    The episode says some incredibly frightening and bizarre things about Federation morality. To me, the issue comes down entirely to consent. Kurn gave his consent to be killed, he wanted to die, there were just strange cultural reasons he couldn't hold the knife himself, so he wanted his brother to do it. Kurn didn't give his consent WHATSOEVER to be mindwiped, brainwashed and surgically altered to completely gain a new identity. So to have the enlightened Federation yell at Worf for trying to do the first while having no problem and help him do the second is unusually barbaric. This isn't even "Ooh, DS9 is showing the Federation ain't all that, they're dark too..." It's like they don't even realize the horrific implications of their pulled-out-of-their-ass ending to their anti-euthanasia episode.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    On the other hand, many posters here have already expressed the opinion that mindwiping was "as bad as" murdering Kurn. Kurn gave his consent to one kind of murder because he wished to die, so it makes sense to assume the consent would extend to all types of murder, including mindwiping.

    When the first murder was interrupted, those responsible did not yet know of the consent. Sisko was personally against the murder even after being educated about the context and the consent; apparently, Bashir was not. Which is fine and well, because neither Bashir nor anybody else we've seen in the 24th century has actually expressed anti-euthanasia sentiments. (Lwaxana Troi didn't like "forced euthanasia" in "Half a Life", but that's hardly relevant.)

    It would be a bit much to interpret "Sons of Mogh" as taking a stance on euthanasia anyway. Klingons are always killing each other for weird reasons; this need not involve ethics or morals of any sort, nor should our heroes or the audience be interested in taking stances on the absurdities. That part of the story is just a vehicle for Worf to get into conflict with the Klingon Empire in yet another entertaining manner.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Um, no, you totally missed my point. I'm saying that when Bashir is in a combat situation, he's no longer acting as a medic or a doctor but as a soldier and therefore not violating his Hippocratic Oath. According to what we've seen onscreen, Bashir doesn't view the Klingons he's shooting at as patients under his care.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And similarly, Crusher would not need to view the enemy aliens in need of a memory wipe as "patients", merely as "targets".

    Kurn isn't ill, either. He's no patient of Bashir's. But he could well be a legitimate target of Bashir's.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Uh...what? Now you're saying that Kurn was the bad guy in this episode, that he was an enemy Bashir needed to destroy? That doesn't make any sense.
     
  18. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    ^Why not think of Bashir as not a physician in the case of mind-wiping Kurn, but as an assassin with a very specific skill set and technique for eliminating targets. If Worf hired him to help assassinate Kurn in a Klingonesque way, then Bashir wasn't a doctor during the operation, but a hired hand. ;)
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It's just another tactical situation for Bashir. When treating Kurn's wounds, he's Kurn's doctor. When erasing Kurn's memory, he's not. "Enemy" or "target" is not a moral assessment: it's something an officer accepts as part of mission specs.

    And in this case, the mission was to deal with Kurn's desire to die, Worf's desire to manage the social standing of the sons of Mogh, Sisko's desire to regulate (not ban outright) his officers' murderous activities, and a host of other related concerns. Whatever moral considerations there were, they were not medical ones, and Bashir did not need to wear his medical hat for this.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Julian Bashir is not an assassin and I think the idea of being hired to use his doctor's skill in such a way would disgust him. What he did in this episode seems very out of character.
     

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