(If you are not caught up with CW’s The Flash, there are some teeny, tiny spoilers in this post! You’ve been forewarned.)
I’ve been posting a lot of serious pieces lately on The Neighborhood Bioethicist, so I thought we should have some fun this week. So we will play a little game called Six Degrees of Bioethics Separation! If you haven’t played Six Degrees of Separation before, it’s pretty simple. You pick a topic and try to connect it to the original topic in six steps or less. So in Six Degrees of Bioethics Separation, I am going to try to connect a topic to bioethics in six steps or less. The topic is *insert drumroll* – The Space Time Continuum from CW’s The Flash.
The Flash is my show of choice at the moment. It centers on Barry Allen and his journey to becoming the DC Comics’ superhero that we all know and love. The show is very well written and uses CGI and slow-motion in a way that feeds all of my nerdy sensibilities. It also doesn’t require any background knowledge of comics. However, if there is one thing they love to do on this show, it’s messing with the Space Time Continuum. Seriously – they rupture it like an infected appendix like every five episodes and they just can’t leave it alone. Funny enough, my favorite characters on the show are the Time Wraiths – ghostly “enforcers” who make sure Speedsters don’t take advantage of the Space Time Continuum (the bioethicist in me loves their enforcement of justice). The consequences of time traveling is a core theme of the show. So since we are done with the background information, on to the game!
- Messing with the Space Time Continuum interferes with an individual’s life story. In the show, The Flash, one of the obvious consequences of playing with the space time continuum is that it changes the life story of an individual. Even the smallest interferences can change someone from being a person who likes peaches to a person who likes apples. The Flash also shows the importance of experiences and how they shape us. Omitting, ignoring, or changing these experiences can drastically change a person’s overall life and relationships. This leads to my next point…
- One’s life story is the same as one’s narrative. We discussed this in my previous blog post on narrative ethics. Under the narrative approach, an individual’s life experiences creates their narrative. And their narrative informs that person’s perspective and reactions to crises and victories. On to the next step…
- An individual’s narrative affects their values and ideals. In Narrative Ethics, Martha Montello said, “A narrativist tries to capture the stories patients and families tell about the way they arrived at a particular predicament as well as the how of their moral decision-making at earlier important moments.” Knowing an individual’s narrative can give insight into how an individual can and will make decisions. One’s values and ideals are generally determined by one’s narrative. This is essence of narrative ethics bringing us to my final point…
- Narrative Ethics can be used in the application Bioethics in clinical settings. Narrative ethics, in the bioethicial sense, is an alternative to principlism that focuses on the relationship of stories with ones values, morals, and decision making.
TA-DA! The Space Time Continuum connected with Bioethics – and in less than six degrees! I hope you enjoyed this lighweight post and had some fun. If you want to see me play Six Degrees of Bioethics Separation again, leave me a topic idea in the comments below. Oh and a friendly reminder: if you magically gain the ability to alter the Space Time Continuum, don’t. Trust me – it never quite works out.
Until Next Time,
The Neighborhood Bioethicist
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