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Support Waivers: a thought experiment

  1. Dustin Staples profile image60
    Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago

    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/7365440.gif
    Your at a hospital for surgery signing a waiver that reads: while under anesthesia you may fall into a coma, die, or be used as temporary life support. Knowing the chances are slim and that the surgery is performed often without mishaps, you sign and proceed.
    Waking up the next day you find yourself attached to a young man in an induced coma. They tell you that he's dying, and that they're assembling a life support system that is not yet completely attached and functioning. It will take one year for him to become stable, the system can only be connected to you, and you will not likely suffer harm. They offer you a chance to nullify the waiver, but he will surely die if you do so.
    Why would you do, what you would do?

    1. nightwork4 profile image60
      nightwork4posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      it would depend on what was wrong with him and how it happened. if he was going to recover, i would do what i could. if he was going to be in a coma for life, i would tell them to disconnect me and let the guy die.

      1. Dustin Staples profile image60
        Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        So it depends on his future potential?
        It's likely that he will leave the coma onces he's stable, but i wanted to include as little relative terms as possible, seeing as anyone can die or be injured at any moment.
        Thanks for answering.
        Why then do speculations about his potential worth matter?

        1. nightwork4 profile image60
          nightwork4posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          because if he is some piece of garbage who is going to cause harm is he lives, there isn't a chance i'm going to help him.if his potential worth doesn't matter to you, i feel sorry for you.

          1. Dustin Staples profile image60
            Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            HIs potential worth is unknown to me, as it would be to you.
            Speculations aren't conclusive, so what type of sign would you need to know that he is going to likely cause harm, and should then be left to die?

            If he was covered in satanic tattoos? If he looked like a bum? If they told you he was a suspect for murder?

            1. nightwork4 profile image60
              nightwork4posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              i would ask. it's amazing what questions can do in the decision making concept. i'm not nearly nice enough to give up a year of my life without knowing about the person i'm doing it for.i'd also have some people find out what he was all about.

    2. pennyofheaven profile image80
      pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      If his life was dependent on being attached to me, I would not nullify the waiver. If stabilizing his condition is dependent on being attached to me for a year it would not matter. Certainly it would take time to adjust to whatever life you might have while being attached but it would not matter because I would know it is giving another a chance at life.

  2. cleaner3 profile image79
    cleaner3posted 4 years ago

    Wow, Dustin . this is a very hard decision that you put forth on the hubs. this might not get many replys for it is something ,I don't think many people would want to respond on. This is a very personal decision that you have asked on, and myself, it has made me think about it.  I'm not sure what I would do and the likelihood of it happening would be slim anyway.  I really could not answer you now for there are many if's in making a decision such as this and I don't really deal in if's . besides that is the best excuse to get out of answering this .  But I have to give it to you for coming up with such a tough question as this .

    1. Dustin Staples profile image60
      Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks! Yah i like it a lot. I had originally wanted to throw the Violinist thought experiment at them, but my urge to be original led me to tweaking the deeper question in such a manner.

  3. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 4 years ago

    Is this a scenario that could happen? I've never heard of anyone being used as life support for someone else in this manner, but I'd have to remain connected. I don't know that I could be responsible for the death of another human being, if I had an option.

    1. Dustin Staples profile image60
      Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for answering, I'd hope to do the same in this situations.
      If you knew no one would find out, and that the man would never even know his life was saved, would your stance change?

      If you change all the facts of the question and leave the moral dilemma, this faces people all the time.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It doesn't really matter what anyone else knows. What I know is what would motivate my behavior.

  4. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 4 years ago

    I wouldn't sign the waiver before surgery.  Unless I'm pregnant, I don't believe that my body was meant to be life support for someone else to the exclusion of being able to live my own life.  I'd skip the surgery or have it elsewhere.

    1. Dustin Staples profile image60
      Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's only temporary and you can still live your life, though I imagine it would be hindered quite a bit for that year :p.
      What if it was only a day?
      It's just a question, circumventing it defeats the greater purpose -- skipping the surgery isn't an option.
      But from what you have said, would you not donate a kidney to a loved one, if you were the only person who could, and it required a day of your time to transplant?

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        A day of my time to donate a kidney to a family member is far different from a year of my life being used as a life support system to someone I don't.  If that was possible for me (unfortunately, it is not), I would do it in a heartbeat. 

        How is it that a surgical procedure before which I must sign a waiver can't be done without?  If it's an absolute must, I doubt I'm conscious to sign a waiver.

        1. Dustin Staples profile image60
          Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You said, "Unless I'm pregnant, I don't believe that my body was meant to be life support for someone else to the exclusion of being able to live my own life" I was trying to refute that point with the kidney question, just to make a point besides the point I suppose.

          Sure it could be done with out. That's all outside of the question, that assumes you did in fact consciously sign the waiver.
          Assuming that you would never do something is claiming that you don't make mistakes.
          What if you also had extreme regret for not taking the waiver completely to mind or bear the weight of that rare occurrence affecting you, to then have to decide between the options at hand.

          1. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I'm not sure, to be honest.  I would do anything within my power to help another person survive.  The kidney thing, though...one's life is only altered slightly, as a person can live a full life with only one kidney. 

            My life is not my own, though, to commit to being nothing but life support for someone else.  I have a husband and a family to support - and cannot do that under those circumstances.  I need to be present to them first.

            1. Dustin Staples profile image60
              Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks for answering. I Imagine this is much tougher to answer when you are already needed to support someone else's life.

  5. A Troubled Man profile image59
    A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago

    This is just another "What if" scenario in which one is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Of course, the reality of it is that the doctors would unlikely place any individual in such a scenario in the first place.

    1. Dustin Staples profile image60
      Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      This is just another "Troubled Man" scenario in which your damned if you argue and feeble if you don't, just a joke smile. But interesting -- Yes doctors alone would never ask you this question, but couple standard medical options with God (or moral absolutism), and you have the concern of the deeper question.
      Troubled, I thought you would've enjoy'd this one, im sad to see your lack of opinion on the matter. Come down off the fence wink

      1. A Troubled Man profile image59
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        And, that deeper question is...?



        Why would you want an opinion of old news? Do you believe that is the first time anyone has ever presented such a scenario before?

        1. Dustin Staples profile image60
          Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It's the same as this question. If I tell you it, it defeats the whole purpose of a thought experiment.
          Old news with new people or new variables, isn't really the same is it?
          No, I haven't seen this thought experiment before, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was out there. Have you faced this question before? Give us some new news on this old question or does your opinion not matter?

          1. A Troubled Man profile image59
            A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The thought experiment is moot, so if you don't tell us the "deeper question" we can only conclude there isn't one.



            Of course, moral paradoxes appear in one form or another here and elsewhere and in plenty of books.

            1. Dustin Staples profile image60
              Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Your so aloof.
              Wiki- The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question.

              The principle in question is moral responsibility.
              This is not a moral paradox, though you may have a tough time expressing your own conclusion, it is pretty personal.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image59
                A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You have already outlined the consequences.



                To whom?



                Yes, it is.

  6. Dustin Staples profile image60
    Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago

    We could dance around this question all day, but what if you just answered?

    If not: you feel that you can't answer in what way because of what?

    1. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Perhaps, you didn't read my post earlier where I said one is damned if they do and damned if they don't, thus the paradox.

      And, to whom do you refer to as being morally responsible?

      1. Dustin Staples profile image60
        Dustin Staplesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I'm asking you, who you do you think is morally responsable.

        Being seen as damned one way and damned another is not the same as a paradox. Paradox: "...statement that leads to a contradiction or a situation which (if true) defies logic or reason, similar to circular reasoning"- wiki.

        You can argue both ways with out contradicting reason. It's a matter of ethics. This underlying ethical question is asked of people every day, and conclusions are come to every time.

 
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