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View Full Version : No Win Decision. NZ man saves wife as son drowns.


mimartin
12-03-2009, 12:52 PM
The Horton’s tragic story (http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/world/MI137847/)

Do not bad mouth or disrespect Mr. Horton decision. Unless you were there you have no way of judging the difficulty in saving his son. If you want to disrespect Mr. Horton’s decision take it to another thread that is not what this thread is about.

This is a dilemma I hope none of us ever experience. However, my question is if all things were equal (equal chance to save either, but you can still only save one), who do you attempt to save, your spouse or your child? Why?

If you say you save the younger person, what if it had been your spouse and the neighbor’s child, whom do you attempt to save then?

I’m interest in this, because I’ve always been told you save the innocent child. The older person has already live longer and the child deserves the same opportunity. I guess this interest me because I have came upon fatal accident more than once in my life. I’ve never had to make a choice on who lives or dies, but I have had to make a choice on which I could best comfort as they died.

Astor
12-03-2009, 01:10 PM
The Hortonís tragic story (http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/world/MI137847/)

A tragic, and difficult decision indeed.

This is a dilemma I hope none of us ever experience. However, my question is if all things were equal (equal chance to save either, but you can still only save one), who do you attempt to save, your spouse or your child? Why?

It reminds me a little of the situation in I, Robot. Human reasoning would have attempted to save the girl, but the Robot calculated who had the better chance of survival and ignored the other.

I think the main problem with answering this definitively is that I think all reason and rational thought leave your mind when faced with such a crushing decision.

I think that, if I were capable of thinking rationally, I probably would save my child, as I would imagine that my spouse would try to do the same. It's true enough that if I had children, and we were both in danger, i'd want them to survive.

If you say you save the younger person, what if it had been your spouse and the neighborís child, whom to save then?

That's an entirely different ball game. I guess it would depend on if I like my neighbour. :p

I honestly can't say what i'd do in that situation, although my feelings would probably say save my wife.

Jae Onasi
12-03-2009, 02:32 PM
Oddly enough, when I was flying a couple weeks back, the instructions that were given about the oxygen masks were to secure your own before securing your child's. This makes sense--if you pass out, you can't help yourself OR your child.

There are so many possible variables in this that it's impossible to say. It would probably come down to who I could reach first. If it was a survival situation (stuck on a mountain like the Donners), I might try to save my husband first--he'd be able to survive in the wilderness but my kids don't know enough to be able to. If it was a car accident, I might try to save my kids first. Rescue my spouse or a neighbor's kid? Probably my spouse, to be honest--I don't know that I could truly let someone I love dearly drown for someone who isn't my family.

jrrtoken
12-03-2009, 04:15 PM
Avellone sees this thread, and smiles down upon it. He is quite pleased.

Darth Avlectus
12-03-2009, 05:26 PM
I am not by any stretch saying it was possible, but personally my judgment call in that sitch would be to try to save both. I tend to not think about it, just act, when a situation calls for it. I cannot honestly say what I would have done in that situation. That's my value judgment.

mimartin
12-03-2009, 05:50 PM
If past stressful situation are any indication, then I would most likely try to save both too. In something similar to this case, where the wife is easier and quicker to save, I would most likely do the same thing and save her first. Once she was safe I would venture back to attempt to save the other, no matter how foolhardy the endeavor was. I’m logical enough to know sometimes there is no way to save someone, but I am emotional enough not to let common sense and self-preservation get in my way of doing something that may be considered stupid and in vain.

I would like to think I would be intelligent enough to pick who was most likely to survive, but I know myself well enough to know my logic is cancelled out when confronted with love for someone.

This man has my deepest condolences and respect, I hope he survives this and his relationship with his wife survives this. I highly doubt I could survive what he has been through.

Totenkopf
12-03-2009, 06:45 PM
A tragic, and difficult decision indeed.

Too true. I think you've got to go with trying to save the person you have the best chance of saving and then go and try to do what you can for the other. Damn shame.

Jae Onasi
12-03-2009, 08:54 PM
Avellone sees this thread, and smiles down upon it. He is quite pleased.

I'll bring myself to care about Avellone's opinion if he ever posts it here. In the meantime, what's _your_ opinion?

Q
12-03-2009, 09:07 PM
This reminds me of the saddest film ever (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie%27s_Choice_(film)). :(


On a lighter note, I understand this man's reasoning. Good wives are hard to come by, while they could always have another kid. :p


EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION: The first statement about Sophie's Choice was serious. In the film, the main character has to make a similar, on-the-spot choice. The second statement was meant as a joke.

jrrtoken
12-03-2009, 09:27 PM
In the meantime, what's _your_ opinion?It's all open to circumstance, and in this particular scenario, I feel that he did the right thing. He saved the matriarch, allowing the family to further procreate, in biologist's terms. This could be compounded if there were other children already in the family, which would equate to the benefit of having more than one parent. But, again, it all depends on circumstance and one's own interpretation and judgment.

vanir
12-04-2009, 06:26 PM
I think if police and firecrews were also unable to reach the trapped boy, in this particular case there was no way to save him where the wife could be saved, and as the father had judged the alternative was that all three of them would probably have died.
So the choice here was really save two of them (including himself) or lose all three.

Trying to retrieve someone from a submerged vehicle within two or three minutes in any case is a losing proposition, working that hard and with the panic you're only going to have a minute or two before running out of oxygen yourself, you've got bucklies of opening any doors or smashing any windows underwater so unless there's already an opening you're not going to get in, then it's likely you'd have to free that person from some kind of entanglement and manage to extract them, by this stage there is no doubt they have drowned and there's a small likelihood you'll revive them.

Without diving equipment we're really talking about something that only happens on Hollywood movies to start with. In reality the mostly likely result is that any determined rescuer would drown during their efforts unless you had diving equipment or two or three professional rescuers helping, and even then you'd be retrieving a dead body.

Q
12-05-2009, 12:16 PM
I think that vanir hit it on the head. In this situation, I think that he simply saved whomever he thought he had the best chance of saving at the moment.

JediAthos
12-05-2009, 07:01 PM
I don't think this gentlemen did anything more than what any other person would do. In fact he may have done more than some people as some would resulted to panic and failed to save either person.

I truly feel sorry for his loss and am glad he was able to save one life and would hope I would be able to do the same in his situation while at the same time hoping I never have that choice to make.

thegreatjoshini
12-07-2009, 07:12 PM
I would 100% of the time save the younger person. Even if they were not my child. The reasoning is simple, the younger person still has a future whereas the older person has less of one.

mimartin
12-07-2009, 08:36 PM
I would 100% of the time save the younger person. Even if they were not my child. The reasoning is simple, the younger person still has a future whereas the older person has less of one.I'd agree if we were talking about a 75 year old vs a 13 year old, however whose to say who will live longer between a 35 year old and a 13 year old. There are no guarantees in life. We are not given some magic number that guarantees a certain amout of time to live.

Web Rider
12-07-2009, 08:46 PM
I don't think I'd have any idea who to save. That's not to say I would be indecisive, it's just to say that I would have no logical reasoning behind it. "I saved ??? because I did." I highly doubt my brain or anyone's brain would act on anything other than pure instinct. Whichever one I could get to first would probably be the one that I saved.

thegreatjoshini
12-08-2009, 03:11 AM
I'd agree if we were talking about a 75 year old vs a 13 year old, however whose to say who will live longer between a 35 year old and a 13 year old. There are no guarantees in life. We are not given some magic number that guarantees a certain amout of time to live.

Avg life expectancy is around 75 years old. So yeah, I'm still going with what I originally said.

mimartin
12-08-2009, 10:54 AM
Avg life expectancy is around 75 years old. So yeah, I'm still going with what I originally said.Not saying I agree with your number. I have no clue to the avg life expectancy for NZ. However, let us say for a moment I accept your number. As I wrote before, if all things were equal (equal chance of rescue, equal difficulty of rescue, equal time of rescue, and so on…) then I would agree with you about always rescuing the younger person.

However in this case, everything was not equal. The 35 year old woman was accessible while the 13 year old was submerged inside a vehicle. As Mr. Horton stated in the article, “Instead of going down and risking my life as well as my wife and son's, I chose to take V(anessa) back and sat on the shore praying. It was all I could do.”

So are you advocating risking 2 lives to save 1 just because the 1 life may (or may not) have longer to live)? Like I wrote, all things being equal, I would agree with you. However, in real life, things are rarely equal.

Q
12-08-2009, 02:16 PM
I would 100% of the time save the younger person. Even if they were not my child. The reasoning is simple, the younger person still has a future whereas the older person has less of one.
You can't honestly say that with any genuine certainty at all.

Nice to know that you're in favor of age discrimination, though.