The Worth of One or Many

“…All I’m saying is, the guy has the literal cure for cancer in his body and he’s decided he won’t share with the rest of the world.”

“Brain cancer, Jim.  He has the cure for one cancer.  And it’s one that we’re making a lot of progress in obtaining without whatever unique ability his brain has.  We’re not even sure if we could harness that trait. If you remember, the attempts at synthesizing crocodiles’ unique cell defenses failed, even though we truly thought we had that.”

“Exactly my point.  We’ve made progress, Clara, progress.  Nothing more. We don’t know when we might independently find a cure.  But we have the cure right here! Something that could lead to even more discoveries.  Why should we put his life over the lives of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands that would die before we finally crack this puzzle?  What would you have him do, Clara? If it was your loved one with this terrible disease?”

“Are you seriously suggesting that this young man kill himself, Jim?”

“Maybe I am, Clara.  Maybe I am.”

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