What Would You Do If … Dilemmas In A Zombie Apocalypse: No. 19 – The Doctor’s Dilemma

5 Jul

You are a doctor in a remote field hospital tending refugees who have fled from the advancing zombie swarms sweeping across the country. Ever since you arrived, you’ve been working in a children’s ward and in your care are twenty patients ranging in age from a few years old to ones who are almost teenagers. Some are so ill they cannot get out of bed, while others are up and about most of the time. After yet another long day, you are ready to head to your tent in the camp, but no one comes to relief you. You try calling the headquarters but, yet again, the phones are down. Going outside, you see that the refugee camp is in turmoil, with everyone scrambling to leave as soon as possible. You flag down a man in an old army truck and ask him what’s going on. He tells you there are rumours of a zombie horde sweeping up the valley towards the camp, and that everyone who can get out is leaving as soon as possible just in case. Then he asks if you want to come with him. You think about this for a moment, if there really are zombies coming and you go with him, it will be your best chance of surviving, but you will be abandoning any children you leave behind to a certain death. If you stay, while you might survive a zombie attack on the camp, it would be very unlikely. On the other hand, though it prove to be just a rumour, as has been the case before. If this is the case, neither you nor the children are in danger if you stay, yet if you leave, any of them that remain in the hospital will die because you’re not there to look after them. What do you do?


As always, this dilemma is just here to make you think, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Vote in the poll to let others know what you do if you were in this situation, and if you want to give a more detailed answer, leave a comment on this posting.

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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

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4 Responses to “What Would You Do If … Dilemmas In A Zombie Apocalypse: No. 19 – The Doctor’s Dilemma”

  1. auburn21 06/07/2013 at 10:36 #

    Oh dear that is a moral dilemma! makes you feel bad even when it isn’t real! I made my choice like 26.67% of the rest of the people who voted…I’d say we were partially heartless! ha. Very good dilemma though!

    • cmdrysdale 06/07/2013 at 11:03 #

      Yes, this was a particularly tricky one, especially as you don’t know what the real situation is, just the rumours. I know what I’d like to think I’d do in these circumstances, but I suspect what I’d actually do would be a lot less noble!

  2. RStorey 07/07/2013 at 22:44 #

    No question about it, I would remain at the hospital but try to get as many of the mobile patients onto a truck. While taking off with the rest of the community may increase my chances of survival, I would not be able to live with myself as a human being knowing I abandoned those children.

    That is not to say I am putting out a welcome sign for the closest zombie horde; I would do all I could to prepare. One of the advantages the living has over the undead is ingenuity. In addition, while it may not exactly be ethical by today’s standards, I would sedate the children. That sounds a lot worse when I write it out than it did in my head. But if there is a horde coming sedation will a) keep the children calm and quiet, and b) if things turn really bad then the children won’t feel it.

    • cmdrysdale 07/07/2013 at 23:14 #

      I hope I’d choose this option too.

      I hadn’t thought about it that way before but you make a very good point about the living having ingenuity on their side. I also think the idea about sedating the children is an interesting one. It might actually fit within modern medical ethics where placing people in medically-induced comas is now quite common practice. If your aim is to increase their chances of survival or minimise their pain then this would definitely be a legitimate medical procedure.

      If we go by fictional scenarios, it seems that zombies will ignore the unconcious (think of Rick in ‘The Walking Dead’ or the main character in ’28 Days Later’ – there’s also a similar premise in the 3rd act of the ‘World War Z’ movie which would probably also apply to people in comas), suggesting this is a valid course of action. It’s certainly a novel approach and one that hadn’t occurred to me.

      On another note, thanks for the nice review of ‘For Those In Peril On The Sea’. You’re right about it having certain cinematic qualities. It would also be really fun to shoot in the real locations where the book is set.

      If anyone else wants to check out RStorey’s review, you can find it here: http://storeyonastory.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/for-those-in-peril-on-the-sea-by-colin-m-drysdale/. I’d also recommend RStorey’s blog in general as one that’s worth reading.

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