Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Would you attempt to save someone & jeopardize your life/ambitions

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Today I read an article about the 19 year old Brit who reached the summit of Everest (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-climbers.html), the comments section was raving (as per usual!) because she mentioned that she had walked past dead and dying people to get to the summit.

    The uncomfortable fact is that barely any of the dying can be rescued since
    1) It's impossible to get helicopters into the 'death zone' the point at which
    altitudes above a certain point where the amount of oxygen is not high enough to sustain human life
    2) Trying to stretcher someone down Everest is (almost) impossible.
    3) Rescue attempts by climbers use up their oxygen supply and deplete their energy levels which almost certainly will lead to their own death.
    4) Sitting down with a dying person to comfort them (since you cannot rescue them) will lead to your own death (lack of oxygen, frostbite, altitude sickness).

    Nevertheless, is walking past a dying person in order to reach the top of a mountain for some personal target ever a forgivable thing to do? One point, made in a post on another website was that the high altitude affects the ability to think clearly and so walking past a dying person in order to save yourself is forgivable. Furthermore, everyone on Everest knows the risks and have put themselves in a situation where they are aware that they could die.

    BUT, is walking past a dying person on the way down less morally abhorrent than walking past a dying person on the way up? On your journey down Everest you are simply trying to survive long enough to reach the bottom yourself and have no means by which to rescue people, but on the way up you're trying to reach a personal target (reaching the summit) before trying to save yourself and get back before frost bite/altitude sickness/falling down a crevasse/lack of oxygen etc kills you.

    Thoughts?

    Is passing a dying person on the way down rather than on the way up, less morally unsavory? Or is either unforgivable?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    This question and its premise is fundamentally ridiculous.

    That is my response to you.
    • Thread Starter
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by theonefrombrum)
    This question and its premise is fundamentally ridiculous.

    That is my response to you.
    It's not much of a response without an actual argument .
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    If saving you is going to result in my death then it's time for you to make peace with your God or Gods.
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Well no (answer to your last question).

    There is nothing she could have done to save them anyway. Might as well keep going to achieve her goals or die trying. In this case she made it.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    It's not much of a response without an actual argument .
    Ok sorry.

    I posit that an answer to this question shouldn't be answered based on the fact that it is as silly as yellow socks.

    There's some sort of arguement.
    • Thread Starter
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by theonefrombrum)
    Ok sorry.

    I posit that an answer to this question shouldn't be answered based on the fact that it is as silly as yellow socks.

    There's some sort of arguement.
    I like yellow socks :^_^:.
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Putting ambitions before other people is plain selfish. However, as you say, if rescue is realistically impossible in either case......
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Saying it's too dangerous to help people is complete nonsense. The proof of this is that the unnamed Sherpa and Nadav Ben-Yehuda managed to do it and all credit to them. The main danger here is that you won't complete your climb and waste the money and training you invested. An extremely poor justification for leaving someone to certain death

    I wonder if it had been a dying relative, say her mother, would she have acted differently?
    • 7 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The scenario itself that you have presented is pretty biased towards "no I will not save them" as
    a) as you have mentioned it's virtually impossible to actually save their life in that situation and
    b) it might not just jeapordise your chance of achieving personal goals but might jeopardise YOUR LIFE itself. Then it just becomes a "would-you-risk-your-life-for-someone-else's" moral question.

    Perhaps a more appropriate scenario would be something like... You were on a space craft to mars, but your partner is critically injured and unconscious as a result of something, so you either turn back for earth to save their life but never have the opportunity again, or forge ahead and be the first to land on another planet, at the cost of a human life. There is no time to do both.
    This is of course co considering among other factors that nobody else has the authority to make a decision and that you don't need your partner for help on the return trip

    Apologies if the question was actually inspired by the story in the first place though
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Lol, only on TSR.
    • 34 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PeterOkenla11)
    Saying it's too dangerous to help people is complete nonsense. The proof of this is that the unnamed Sherpa and Nadav Ben-Yehuda managed to do it and all credit to them. The main danger here is that you won't complete your climb and waste the money and training you invested. An extremely poor justification for leaving someone to certain death

    I wonder if it had been a dying relative, say her mother, would she have acted differently?
    I'd say something along the lines as this... :/
    • 34 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    Some of the comments that you would need to consider from the site:

    wow..she's all heart. Stepping over dying people in order to become the youngest woman to reach the top of Mt Everst. She's a winner all right.
    - Lisa R, NY, 25/5/2012 22:31

    The sickening thing is, those people walked past dying humans and did nothing, all for their own satisfaction of climbing Everest. They should be ashamed and there thoughts will be haunted for the rest of their lives. No sitting back and remembering the view in years to come, just those poor soles empty eyes you walked past and left to die...... alone! Would you like to tell their parents and children you saw them suffering and dying and did nothing. Someone who climbs 29000ft to have the best view in the world isn't even in a fit state to appreciate it. The biggest disgrace in mountaineering. Shameful.
    - mdt, uk, 25/5/2012 22:28

    I admit that I don't understand the appeal in climbing, but....if they're in good enough health to walk past people that may be dying - why don't more stop to help the dying people out? Glad the Sherpa stopped to help, but this story sounds like others just walked by. You can climb Everest another day - and you walked by people on what turned out to be their last day on Earth. Boggles the mind.
    - CB, San Antonio, TX, 25/5/2012 22:25


    Climbing Mount Everest is stupid because it is wholly contingent on creating a sealed off space to inure your body from the outside elements. Then you climb, aided by gas mixtures, and if you have enough endurance you get to the top. Without being more or less hermetically sealed off from the outside elements, you die. Simple as that. So now that all the real brave pioneering work has been done - by Tenzing, Mallory, all those that went before in simpler times when you really had to be brave - what's the big deal. Very soon, we'll have the first infant baby to get to the summit and we can all coo and say how wonderful, or not. I'd like to start a Leave Everest Alone to the Yeti society. Passing dying people on the way then saying you can't do anything about it because you have to get to the top, is heartless, selfish and sick, no matter the realities. The Nepalese should shut the place off, as should the Tibetans if they ever get their country back..
    - Paul Gilson, London, 25/5/2012 21:25

    Finding a dying climber, and being unable to help them must be one of the worst scenarios to be in. - Pip, United Kingdom, 25/5/2012 15:5========Didn't seem to bother them to much, they walked on by.
    - Gideon Webley, Wakefield, 26/5/2012 2:09

    This just seems really horrible. She is basically doing something for fun and trying to show how brave she is by passing dying people and surviving it. Why carry on in those conditions? It's not lie she has found a cure for cancer. Lots of people have now climbed Everest (no I haven't, I don't climb, I don't find it that impressive), how many people have to do it before it holds no allure any more?
    - Stella, Cambridge, 25/5/2012 21:52
    These are the best comments:

    Not sure I can comprehend continuing after seeing dead and dying people. I guess the achievement far overshadows any human compassion. Sure, you can all say there wasn't anything she could do. You can say it had long been her goal and she'd trained hard for it. Say anything you want but I'll say humanity was lost in pursuit of the climb. And yet...thank you, Ben-Yahuda, for restoring at least a smidgeon of my faith in the human race. You gave up YOUR lifelong dream to help someone you barely knew. Can't say the same for The Youngest British Woman to reach the summit. Based on her interview, I'd gather she won't lose any sleep over having stepped around those poor souls. Brava, young lady. You - and all the others who just mustered on - must be so proud.
    - Me, In a State of Sadness Perpetuated by Inhumanity, Across the Pond, 25/5/2012 22:38

    It's time to stop Everest Tourism climbs. Just because you have the money to do this doesn't mean you have the right. It used to be that the climbers who ascended were experienced mountaineers with almost a lifetime of climbing around the world. Now the main criteria is whether you can raise the money first, and fitness and experience second. I don't doubt that many of the people who go have experience etc. but they should be the only ones to go. And perhaps then Bass Camp wouldn't be the rubbish dump it has turned into as people leave behind their rubbish and empty oxygen canisters. We should be preserving this unique place, not spoiling it.
    - Nik, Ottawa Canada, formerly UK, 25/5/2012 22:38

    Any merit that is gained by reaching the top of a big hunk of rocks is so overwhelmed by the inhumanity of leaving people to die that it boggles the mind. Hurrah for all you that reached the top! Hope it was worth it. An example of man's (and women's) ego and hubris if ever there was one. Who cares if you climb a mountain when you do it over the frozen and dying bodies of your fellow climbers.
    - M.O., Philadelphia, PA USA, 26/5/2012 1:54
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The Israeli knew the guy he helped and he deserves complete admiration for his actions however he admitted that he might have acted differently if the person was a stranger:

    Ben-Yehuda said he could not say with certainty how he would have reacted if he had come across a stricken climber he did not know. Oxygen is in such short supply and the conditions are so harsh, he said, that people on the mountain develop a kind of tunnel vision.

    It's all well and good thinking you would be the hero in this situation when you are sat comfortably behind your monitor but when you're 25,000 ft up, you're body is running on fumes just to put one foot in front of the other you would not be so quick to view leaving someone who chances are is already dead with or without your help as immoral, looking at the comments on the daily mail site people are seriously underestimating the risk of life that goes with trying to help someone above 8000 meters and the mental state you would be in after getting to that point. Anyone who is stuck for a length of time above 20k would be suffering from serious altitude sickness and would have absolutely no idea what is going on, if you try and help that person odds are you are going to die as well.

    Anyone who climbs everest knows the risks, it is potential suicide which is one of the reasons people do it. You can't reasonably expect people who are seriously struggling to move and have suffered massive mental deterioration to take such a massive risk on the off chance they could save someone who climbed the mountain by choice and who knew the potential negative results that could come with that choice.

    The whole up or down thing is completely subjective, in this situation the couple who the womans group encountered would have been between camp 4 and the summit and the womans party would be in no better shape going up than down, if someone had collapsed 50 or so meters away from the base camp i would imagine most people would help them.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    id rather die trying than leave someone never really knowing if i could have saved them
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't think I could carry on climbing if I was walking past dead and dying people. If there is nothing you can do though, it's probably not worth risking using up your resources to help them.
    • Thread Starter
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Arianto)
    The scenario itself that you have presented is pretty biased towards "no I will not save them" as
    a) as you have mentioned it's virtually impossible to actually save their life in that situation and
    b) it might not just jeapordise your chance of achieving personal goals but might jeopardise YOUR LIFE itself. Then it just becomes a "would-you-risk-your-life-for-someone-else's" moral question.

    Perhaps a more appropriate scenario would be something like... You were on a space craft to mars, but your partner is critically injured and unconscious as a result of something, so you either turn back for earth to save their life but never have the opportunity again, or forge ahead and be the first to land on another planet, at the cost of a human life. There is no time to do both.
    This is of course co considering among other factors that nobody else has the authority to make a decision and that you don't need your partner for help on the return trip

    Apologies if the question was actually inspired by the story in the first place though
    Yes, I realize that I emphasized the unrealistic nature of rescue quite a bit - but I felt it was necessary in case some people think it's as easy as rescuing someone from a modest hill in Wales or something.

    I understand what you're saying - but this wasn't general scenario to canvass people's morals. I was specifically asking about the Everest issue as I find it rather uncomfortable. I've done a lot of reading on it and I can see both sides of the argument for A) Walking by and B) Stopping and attempting rescue, but what hit me the most was someone's comment (on a blog which I won't post because it has disturbing images of climbers) that this is ultimately the real human nature - to save oneself - and we see that because the extreme circumstances reveal it.
    Also this kind of thing happens everyday all over the world in city centers when people walk past needy people and do nothing. Obviously it's much more a case of saving one's own life on Everest, and more a case of Bystander Effect in a city center - but there are definitely parallels and realizing that that is fundamentally at least part of one's nature to behave this way, I personally find very uncomfortable.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I personally hope that I would step in and help in a situation such as this, but like you stated, it's human nature to save ones self instead. There's really no way of knowing how I would behave in such a situation.

    However, if helping someone wasn't going to have such a detrimental effect on my own life, such as in a city centre, I would always step in and help.
    • 7 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    yeah i would because at the end of the day i have saved someones life and one more family won't have to grieve over a death no parent should bury their child
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    It amuses me that people on TSR feel qualified, from the comfort of their warm bedroom and middle class lifestyle, to decide how they would act under the most extreme of circumstances, and also judge others for not acting how they 'would' have done.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 1, 2012
New on TSR

GCSE mocks revision

Talk study tips this weekend

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.