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Go! Get to da choppuh!
The surgeon 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The scientist 73%  73%  [ 11 ]
The kid 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
The mom 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The old man 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Screw em all, ME! 20%  20%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 15
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 Post subject: What do you do?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:15 pm
Posts: 2388
Location: In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere.
Yes, it's time for that great activity, a Hypothetical Question.

I dropped this one into an It's Walky thread, and it received such a reaction that I wanted to see the kind of answers that it would yield here.

This scenario is based off of a hypothetical question exercise that I did in school many years ago.

To head off the language lawyers and armchair scientists that popped up in It's Walky: a hypothetical scenario is just that. No matter how unlikely it would be in the real world, you MUST consider everything mentioned to be a factor. "Something WILL happen" means that the something has a 90-100 percent probability of happening. "Something will PROBABLY happen" means it has an over 50 percent chance of happening. You are not allowed to say "That can't happen, probability zero percent."

Anybody who saw it in It's Walky may notice I've made some changes, as points brought up by forumers reminded me of things I had forgotten in the first posting.

Here we go!

Scenario: You are on an intercontinental flight, when the plane suffers a catastrophic failure and crashes into the ocean, stranding you and several survivors. (lucky you, you managed to find a small sand atoll)

The survivors include:
--You (duh. Picture...yourself.)
--A surgeon, who was being shuttled to the plane's next stop in order to perform a complex organ transplant that he is the world's best at. Without him, the patient(who you know nothing about) will probably die within hours. Of course, he's kept his first aid skills sharp as well, and stabilized the rest of the survivors' injuries.
--A nuclear physicist, who was on her way to Japan to stabilize a nuclear reactor there. If she's not in Japan within 12 hours, the reactor will probably go supercritical, melt down, and irradiate much of Japan. Japan being as crowded as it is, thousands would suffer radiation poisoning.
--An old man with severe internal hemorraghing. He's been stabilized for now, but the surgeon says that if he doesn't get to a full-fledged hospital quickly, he will die.
--A mother and child, but with a twist: the child is a minor but is also suffering from severe psychosis. The medicine required to keep the child from going absolutely batshit insane is...on the bottom of the ocean, along with the rest of the plane. (when the meds run out, the child is known to have violent episodes, lashing out at anybody in reach.) Of course, any decent pharmacy in a major city will have more.

A Coast Guard helicopter finds you in a timely manner, but there's a problem: the chopper is only a scout. The other choppers are off on other missions and cannot be rerouted to you, but he's got a cutter on the way.

That cutter is hours away, and covers distance at a pitiful fraction of the speed of an aircraft. All told, the chopper could get back to its base in two hours--the cutter would take 15. At the base, of course, the Coast Guard would have a nice selection of fixed-wing aircraft, a full military hospital, and basically anything else you'd want. (with the obvious exception of another helicopter)

The good news: the helicopter DOES have the ability to make a touch-and-go landing and take on ONE passenger.

Oh...did I forget that the helicopter is also approaching bingo fuel? You've got five minutes to decide who gets on the chopper, before he lifts off again--if nobody's on board when he starts his lift, he leaves you ALL behind for the boat.

What do you do?

(on a related note, you ever notice how large aircraft tend to have a bad case of "Titanic Syndrome"? Ever look at the Safety Card and count how many life rafts one of those appears to have, compared to its passenger load?)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:41 am 
I would say the Scientist
after all, who's life is worth more in such a situation? A nations? or one person that the surgeon could save? the old man? the kid may go insane, but I don't think the his sanity is worth the lives of an entire nation

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:56 am 
Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2002 3:03 am
Posts: 1621
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
I would have to agree.

I have moral questions about major organ transplants anyway. I have moral questions about psyche-altering drugs. The old man is just that, an old man. He's lived a full, long life, and will reincarnate (or so I believe, anyway) or stop off in Nirvana for a while.

But I am seriously pro nuclear power. And if that plant blows, well then that'll set back nuclear power's acceptance for *YEARS*. I mean, look how much damage Three Mile Island did, and that one wasn't even a disaster. It was a problem that got taken care of exactly how it was supposed to be. No radiation released, even.

So, yeah, I gotta go with the scientist. Even without the other moral questions, saving thousands is more critical than saving one.

Fandemonium 2010 -- No Boundaries.
Friday - Sunday, August 6th - 8th, 2010
Nampa Civic Center - Nampa, Idaho (Only 20 minutes from the airport!)
(Idaho: It ain't just potatoes anymore.)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:22 pm 
I coyld be wrong, but it seems like a no-brainer to me.
Preventing the nuclear meltdown, and thus saving thousands of lives, gets a far higher priority than anything else in this scenario. I mean, it's sad that the patient will die...And the kid might be a problem...But thousands of lives are more important.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:02 pm 
I guess it would depend. Is the physicist really the only one capable of preventing the meltdown? If so I guess the physicist, even if a meltdown isn't likely to cause any real damage there's always a chance. Otherwise the old man, theres plenty of doctors around capable of doing a transplant. In the meantime work very very hard to remember how your supposed to make rope.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:28 pm 
Ishidan wrote:
What do you do?

I dodge the question. There are smarter and more qualified people around, and you never specified that any of them would bother to listen to me anyway.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:00 pm 
Stuff everyone on the chopper regardless (Except myself, as my situation is apparently not serious). Also, hope that one of the other survivors can fly a chopper, in which case he or she can take the pilot's place.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:15 pm
Posts: 2388
Location: In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere.
For your entertainment,
<a href="">
The original thread.</a>

I notice so far that everybody--save one wiseacre--is voting for the same person. (and Pi notices that nobody died and made him the king, so the question is probably irrelevant--good catch, Pi!)

This was not the way that it went when I asked in It's Walky.

There, I managed to get somebody defending just about every single course of action possible. Enjoy!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:36 pm 
call me selfish, but I'd rather see most of our group survive by getting the psycho kid out of there. The old man has probably seen enough to want to die, and the rest of us aren't in any imediate personal danger. besides, without Japan the US can rekindle its technology industry.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:52 pm 
Well, given the terms of this hypothetical situation, I'd go with the scientist. However, if this actually happened in reality I'd go with the doctor, since the nuclear disaster described in the original post is pretty much impossible with modern reactors. The kid would simply be restrained. Pity about the old man, though.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:55 pm 
Depends on travel times and other unknowns. If it is one and only one, then the scientist for the reasons and based on the assumptions above.


1 chopper w/ 1 passenger
2 hours to base
12 hours to avert nuclear disaster
'quick' action needed for old man
'hours' for doctor
'when the drugs run out' for the kid

Kid can be restrained, so he goes last, (or next to last as I'll wait).

So doc, nuke, or fogey.

Assuming less than six hours from base to reactor, the scientist does not need to go first.

Assuming someone else can START the surgery, the doc doesn't need to go first.

1st traveller - 2 hours to base
2nd traveller - 6 hours to base
3rd traveller - 10 hours to base
4th traveller - 14 hours to base
after that the cutter has arrived

So assuming zero travel time from base to transplant and reactor
1- Old man - refuel and pick up kids drugs
2- Doctor
3- Scientist
rest wait for cutter

Priority is nuke>old man or doc>kid but
Urgency is old man>doc>nuke>kid

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:55 pm 
I have two questions:
- if the scientist is that important, won't they send an aircraft specially for her as soon as they know her position if she doesn't get on the chopper?
- isn't the surgeon a lost cause anyway? He may have been the best surgeon on the planet when taking the plane, but there's no way he'll still be after the crash. He'll need a good night's sleep at the very least to be the best again.

(BTW, I'd choose the scientist. Too bad for the dead people, but I'd rather give her as much time as possible to tackle the nuclear reactor problem.)

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