What would you do? A study in Ethics


If your best friend or close relative was in a coma and was suffering from an accident and they had a small chance of surviving would you tell the doctor to pull the plug or wait?

The chance though minimum might have an effect, then again the person is suffering tremendously from the pain. Remember this is your own opinion and thoughts so do not hold back.


Jesus thats a tough decision.

I guess I’d wait for a sign of improvement over a week or so, but if the person is in a lot of pain as you said then I’d guess I’d pull the plug :’(


If the person still can feel pain, then why would you pull the plug? As long as he/she isn’t braindead he/she can still be saved. Pain is nothing if you can survive. Many people experience large amounts of pain every day, just to die anyway.

Like my grandfather used to say: “You have no right to complain, because many people got it worse than you”.

I know that that quote isn’t fair, there are no shades of sadness, but it do apply to some degree.


It’s a number game in my opinion. What percentage do they have at surviving? What percentage would they have, of coming back in the same condition they were in before the coma. How much are they suffering currently in the coma. And how much do you believe they would be suffering when coming out of the coma.

I would pull the plug. If I were in the same situation, I wouldn’t wish to continue.

Little to no chance of survival, and you’re suffering in the coma.
It breaks down to “Do you want to torture them, or allow them to die peacefully?”.


I’d probably try and guess what that person would want and do that


Giving up just because you are suffering is strongly against my ideals.
I guess it’s a culture thing. I mean, up here assisted suicide is against the law anyway.


It really does depend on the person, their chances of survival, and their quality of life if they did survive. Also their current perception of life. I know it sounds harsh, but if someone was already suicidal before said accident, it would probably be kinder to end it.

This is actually a moot point, because I’ve actually discussed this with most of my friends/families about the hypothetical situation, and they’ve all asked for different things, so I’m set :stuck_out_tongue:


I have 3 family members I care anything about; and 1 person I would consider a friend. Therefor, it doesn’t come down to many people in the coma. I know what my family members would want, and they know what I would want.

And like I said, it’s a numbers game. There are many variables in play, and it cannot be decided without them. But with this amount of information, it’s safe to state the chances of anything good coming out of the situation, is slim to none. Therefor, you would actively be choosing to torture your friend, or relative. Honestly, is suicide worse, or torture? Make the choice on that, then make the choice on whether or not you wish to end that suffering.

And thinking on it, why do you care if they give up? Have you been in the situation where you’re facing yourself with suicide, or living in a screwed up world? We all die, the question is “Is life worth living through, with no decent future in sight; or would death be the better option?”. Life holds little to no meaning. We all die, and everything in our lives no longer matter upon that moment we are dead. Choosing to live on, is a choice everyone makes every time they get up in the morning. So giving up against impossible odds, isn’t always a bad thing.


Pull the plug, I don’t believe in miracles


Disclaimer: I can become a bit aggravated when people talk about giving up their lives because of physical and emotional pain. I am not religious, but I believe that all life is sacred and taking your own life is not a right, because you are not the one who pay the price.

Committing suicide is the cowards way.
There are certain mental illnesses that are so unimaginable horrible, that I don’t have the right to judge, so I exclude those.

If the hypothetical incident was an accident, and not an attempt by this person to take his/her life, that person would be a victim that need your help, and pulling the plug would be the easiest way for you. You should be willing to try to save this person. And if this person survive, it’s your job, as a fellow human being, to force a bit of logic and selflessness down his/her throat.

If the victim had made their wish in their testament, I would not oppose it.
But by giving up your own life, it’s your family and close ones that pay the price.

If there is a chance, why would you not try to save a life? Turning your back on a person’s life for any other reason than saving yourself is murder.

So you mean, if your friend is in great pain, but can be saved, you would let him/her die to ease your own conscience?
To answer the question: Yes, I would claim full responsibility for this persons pain. I would label myself as a torturer rather than leaving this person to die. While the decision itself is easy(for me), I understand the guilt of causing a friend pain will be heavy. Would still do it.

[quote=“Shin, post:8, topic:55201”]
And thinking on it, why do you care if they give up? Have you been in the situation where you’re facing yourself with suicide, or living in a screwed up world? We all die, the question is “Is life worth living through, with no decent future in sight; or would death be the better option?”
[/quote] This is the kind of sentence that really grinds my gears. Not you as a person, just your beliefs.
We all live in a screwed up world. What right have you, to take the easy way? What right have you over little Tim that is being assaulted on school for being another race, had his family murdered infront of him and living uncertain if he will have enough food for the next day. Your life is not only your own. You belong to your family aswell. By giving up because you met a tiny bit of resistance, what would that do to your parents? It would ruin their lives. If you can’t live for your own sake, live for other. There is never a reason to take the easy way.

Oh dear, what a huge wall of text…


Modern medicine?


Yeah don’t say that. I don’t want to get all personal in here, but seriously, don’t say that. You can’t judge someone’s situation unless you’re actually in it.

You might get aggravated by people killing themselves, but I get aggravated when people say that someone killing themselves is ‘cowardly’ or ‘selfish’ when you don’t even know WHY they did it.


If the man with the medicine is saying chances are extremely slim, then I’m likely to believe him as he/she has a lot more knowledge in this field than I.


I want to apologize first. The way I said it was in no way gentle. I’m sorry.
I would add that I fully agree, even if you found yourself in the same situation, different people react to different to different situation. Just because someone would go trough the same hell as someone else did, they still don’t have the right to compare themselves.

I understand that my statement appeared ignorant. I too have had a family member commit suicide and I have both a friend that have attempted to take her life twice and one used to be clinically depressed.

I know I do not have any idea what go trough a person hear before they do commit the act.
I know there are exceptions as I said in the sentence underneath the one you quoted.

But we know that the suicide rate for todays youth is HUGE, and I can’t honestly believe that they are all experiencing huge amount of pain. What is more likely is we, the local community, have failed them trough lack of support, guidance and proper discussion of what death really is, or rather, what it is not.
I still believe that there is no reason to give up. If you can’t find a reason to live for yourself, live for other.


It depends on CRS-R/DRS and elapsed time.
Until recently there was the common assumption that patients in coma don’t feel pain. Now studies show that MCS (minimally conscious) patients may sometimes feel pain, or a sort of. So painkillers should be prescribed as precaution in some cases.

PVS: pull the plug, or better actively suppress him (law should permit this).
MCS: wait again, listen to the doctors, until there’s hope. After years when hope is faded, pull the plug.


If they can suffer, they are still there. It might sound cruel but unless the person is a figurative vegetable, I wouldn’t pull the plug, even if the chance is small.


If a man of medicine says there is a slight hope the person will wake up, then I see no reason to quit.
I trust that he have taken great thought into what he said. I trust that if he say there is hope, there is hope.
My only exception is brain death.

My thoughs about brain death:

I consider a brain dead person to be dead. Without a brain, we are simply an empty car.
I’d rather pull the plug for the slim chance there is a form of heaven after all.


I wanted to post my thoughts in the this thread, but I agree with everything @MrTalha have said so far… and I don’t really have anything else to add.


No problem. I’ll take that as a misunderstanding, then. No harm, no foul :slight_smile:

People with mental illnesses already get a bad enough rap, so phrases like that really rile me up.


Really depends on the person. If it was my sister I’d be forced not to. I feel she’d very much be against it as a part of her faith. If it was me, I’d want someone to pull the plug immediately. Even if I had a ‘small chance’, the amount of money I’d be in debt afterwards would ruin my life if I did survive or ruin my family’s if I didn’t.