StephenT (stormwreath) wrote,

(Meta) He's not dead, he's resting

The subject of Willow and Warren has raised its hideously-ugly head again, and I'm curious to canvass the opinions of my flist about the ethics involved. This is posed as a hypothetical question, so you don't need to know or care anything about Buffy Season 8 at all. I've put the poll behind a cut since it contains language which some people may find disturbing or triggering.


Let's say I decide to horribly torture somebody. I subject him to all sorts of physical and mental torments, slice off various useful or ornamental body parts, and as my final act pull out a gun, shoot him through the head and throw his body in the river.

But! The river flows past a hospital, and some paramedics pull out the body. Here they discover that by a fluke million-to-one chance my bullet glanced off my victim's skull rather than blowing out his brains. He's not breathing, but the paramedics administer CPR then rush him into intensive care. Round-the-clock surgery by a team of crack doctors (one of whom may be a Vicodin addict) manages to save his life. He's still horrifically disfigured and crippled by my torture, and will never be able to lead a normal life - but he's not dead.

So, my question is: how do the doctors' actions affect my own ethical and moral responsibility for what I did?

Poll #1282097 He's not dead, he's resting

How do the doctors' actions affect my own ethical and moral responsibility for what I did?

I'm completely exonerated. He's not dead, so no harm, no foul.
Because he's not dead, my own guilt is massively reduced.
I'm still as guilty as sin, but slightly less than if I'd actually killed him.
Intent is what matters. I'm just as guilty as if he'd really died.
My guilt is now worse, because instead of a clean death my actions have given him a lifetime of suffering.
Something else which I will explain in comments.
Tags: buffy, meta, poll, season 8
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