How many years of your life would you sacrifice to save the life of the person you most love?

Yes, we’re back to the absurd hypotheticals. If you don’t like these, there must be a March Madness thread open someplace. Here’s the sitch:

The person you love most in the world has been terribly injured in a car accident and is close to death. The doctors tell you the only question is whether your beloved will linger for a few hours or a few days. Conventional medicine offers no hope.

But there’s something the doctors don’t know. You happen to be best friends friends with Suzy, a genius technomage and former Rhymer Enterprises employee recently fired for being insufficiently evil. Having seen several of her technomagic inventions in action, you’re already convinced of Suzy’s skill, so you call her as soon as the doctors leave the room. Suzy’s indifferent about your beloved, but she does love you, so she rushes to your side with the Elan Vital Redirection Engine, or EVRE. This device (cleverly disguised to look like an iPad) can transfer life-energy from one person to another, enhancing and accelerating the healing processes of the recipient. Scanning your beloved with the EVRE, Suzy says that yes, the EVRE can heal these wounds; the healing process will take about 60 minutes.

But there’s a catch–actually several. The first is that the EVRE only works if the donor loves the recipient and consents to the donation in full knowledge of what is going on; thus **you **can donate life energy to save your beloved, but Suzy can’t (as she doesn’t love them, and even if she did, she has to operate the machine); nor can, say, another person who also loves your dear one but doesn’t know what the EVRE does. The second is that the transfer process causes the donor to age far more rapidly than normal. Suzy estimates that, given your dearling’s condition, saving them will cause you to age a minimum of 10 years and probably more like 25; there’s about a 10% chance that you’ll be aged to the point of death. Suzy won’t be able to tell exactly how much of your life she’ll be taking until she’s in the middle of the healing process, and as far as Suzy knows, there’s no way to reverse the rapid aging. The third catch is that if the EVRE is to work at all, she’ll have to start within the next 30 minutes. Lastly is that the donor–you–will be rendered unconscious by the process, so you’ll have to tell her nowhow many years of life you’re willing to give up. If you tell her “No more than X years,” she’ll be able to stop the process when you get to that point; otherwise she’ll have to keep at it until the patient is fully healed.

Are you willing to let Suzy drain your youth (or what remains of it :D) using the EVRE? If so, what’s the maximum number of years you’re willing to give up to save your beloved?

Every parent is going to answer, ‘all the way up until death’. Unless you want this thread to be full of the exact same answer from every parent, you might want to rule out kids.

All of them that are remaining to me, but it would be pointless, because I venture to say he would be miserable without me.

All right, not strictly true, I’m sure he might be able to laugh and have a good time again one day, but I don’t expect he will find another partner at this stage of his life. And certainly not one as good for him as I am.

Anyway, it would be good if I had a few days to wrap up my affairs and appoint an executor for myself, he needs a keeper when it comes to money.

Not everybody’s a parent, and some parents are assholes. That said, if I’d read this before putting up the poll I would have left the results private. I’m going to send you over some coconut pie just for thinking fast.

Suzy’s already said that she needs to start within 30 minutes, though. You wouldn’t have these problems if you’d listened when I told everybody to do wills and trusts and living wills and stuff.

I refuse to answer such hypothetical for the same reason I don’t carelessly discard nails in parking lots I frequent.

Your lack of trust wounds me.

What I meant was it would be nice if, after draining as much life as my partner needed, I had a few days of life left to do these things (yes, I have procrastinated). It isn’t critical, however, if she can’t operate the thingie that way.

Hell, it’s not like I’m really using it for anything. Help yourself, Suzy.

All of it, with a note: “Live big enough for the both of us, My Beloved”

I don’t know precisely who it is that I most love, but my answer would depend on that. If it’s my mom we’re talking about, well, she’s in good health, but she’s 74: She very probably has 10 years left, and might with a bit of luck have 20, but it hardly makes sense to give more than that. On the other hand, if it’s one of my nieces or my nephew, they have their whole lives ahead of them, and so the calculation changes.

Of course, there’s also the option of running the machine not until the loved one makes a full recovery, but just until he or she is mended enough to be within range of conventional medical tech to fix up. I might give up decades to spare a niece’s life, but I’m not going to do so just to spare her a month of bed rest.

QFT. Except I’d add a note that she should now dedicate her life to the assassination the head of Rhymer Enterprises.

Exactly. Parenthood is fucking weird; it makes you do and feel things you’d not otherwise even think about. I’d throw myself in front of a truck to save my kid, and it says nothing about whether I’m a good person or not; parenthood is just crazy shit, that’s all. It takes over your mind and your soul.

So in Skald’s hypothetical, sure, I’d bargain for the fewest number of years lost that would restore my kid to full health. But if I had to, I’d give 'em all up with a smile to save my kid.

Can’t do any better than this. Now it’s my answer, too.

Yeah, my first thought was
"My life vs. the sapling’s life? Dude, ask me something hard to answer. "

Hopefully the EVRE works enough like an iPad that I could still record a good-bye video message; it would be a little easier if they knew why I couldn’t help them grow up.

Zero. I’M the one I love the most!

Because…? I didn’t do anything to your girl. Can’t; the Rules prevent it.

I’m not clear as to why you don’t do that on your own phone. Don’t you want Suzy concentrating on keeping the sapling alive (and you, if possible)?

My sister (the person closest to me in this life) is X years older than I am. I would, right now, happily, shave X/2 years from my life to make her X/2 years younger. We’d be the same age.

(Okay, maybe a small actuarial adjustment because women tend to live longer than men…)

Meanwhile, option one: take what’s needed. If a serum made from my chopped-up blenderized brain would save her life…she gets it.

(The hell of it is that she feels the same way…and would refuse to take that treatment, if it would mean my death! “Gift of the Magi” and all that.)

Screw that. Deal with the cards you were dealt in life.

Not going to answer for my kids. It’s just too cliche.

For my husband: 26 years. Very specifically, 26 years. That would, if it were enough to save my husband, put us at the same life expectancy - another 10 years for us both. He’s 60 and not in great health, and I’m 39 in relatively good health. Age me to the point of a 65 year old with relatively good health, and I’ve got about 10 more years of life, barring accident (and given my family history of deaths at 75-82). He may have another 10 years, but he probably won’t have more. I would very much like us to die around the same time, if the universe is kind. Both by instantaneous brain aneurisms during great sex together would be my preferred method.

For my kids…everything.