Which Would You Choose? (UPDATED)

Squeezed March 11, 2006

Originally found at Firedoglake, here’s a dilemma that’ll really make you think, and which has relevance given the current state of politics today. It was put in a simpler manner than this, but I’m going to take dramatic license with it:

You are a firefighter in a major U.S. city. You are a family person, married, and a regular attendee at your local church and a staunch follower of your faith. You and your spouse have also been trying to have children unsuccessfully for about a year. One day you get the call: A fire has broken out at your local university, and it’s a big one. A three-alarm fire. Your truck races to the scene to find nothing short of an inferno.

You are told that the fire had started on one end of the building, but the laboratory on the other end of the building has not yet been touched. It houses a major research experiment into in vitro fertilization. The university has spent years on what would be the next advance in fertility treatments, and its loss would be catastrophic.

Suddenly, you are told that there is someone still in the building. One of the researchers, unable to find childcare, had brought her two year old daughter with her. She was called out of the lab to a meeting, and it was in that meeting that the fire alarm had gone off. Apparently in the rush to evacuate no one had thought to take the child out of the building as well. You are assigned to go into the building and get the experimental embryos and the child out safely. The mother pleads with you to bring her daughter out safely. She shows you a picture of her child. She is as cute as a button. But business is business. In you go.

When you go in, you find that the flames are at the door to the lab, and the building is beginning to lose structural integrity. The fire is starting to burn through the door. Once you get in the lab, you have time to take only one of them with you. Which would you try to save, the embryos or the child?

Update: Changed the scenario slightly to give “you” more incentive one way…

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