Parents - would you sacrifice your life to save your child?

Inspired by this thread, where I read some disturbing and occasionally appalling things about a parent’s responsibility towards his/her child(ren).

So parents, would you sacrifice your life to save the life of your child? Let’s keep it your minor child. My answer is an absolute yes. To me, that’s part of the social contract you agree to when you have a child - you do anything and everything in your power to keep your child alive and well. If you’re not willing to make that sacrifice, you shouldn’t be having children. My wife and I have made it clear to each other as well - if the house is on fire and everyone else is unconscious, get the kids out first.

I don’t buy the “I need to live to be a parent to my other children” argument either. For me personally, I fully trust that some member of my extended family would step up and take my kids if my wife and I were both gone, even if the assigned guardians were dead as well. Even if that didn’t occur, the USA has an adequate care system for orphans - sufficient enough that I’d rather have all three of my kids go into it than have one of them die. The only situation where I’d think I had to let one child die so I could stay alive for the others would be if Canada invaded the USA, and we were refugees scrabbling for food on a daily basis, and no one would take over the children for me. Even then it would haunt me for the rest of my days.

Yep. And I suspect that if this were one of those situations that required a snap decision, the reptilian part of my brain would make the decision for me, instantaneously. Of course, one hopes to never have to find this out for certain.

Of course, no question or hesitation.

Yes, without a second thought.

Only seems fair they should get a shot at at least as many years as I’ve had.

Yep. No hesitation.

Probably not.

Of course. It’s what real love dictates and she’s a far better person than I. No hesitation whatsoever.

No, because I can always make more children.

Yes. It would, of course, be a snap decision … unconscious, really. It’s something hard to contemplate beforehand.




The truth is its pointless to ask this because nobody really knows what they would do, saying yes on a message board is very easy.

Yes. Why would anyone ask this? I already lost one child. I know what it feels like. Even if I didn’t, it still seems obvious. Anyone that feels otherwise should give their child up for adoption even if it is just to more rational relatives.

You probably don’t have any kids. I would do do without hesitation, and it’s not a rational or reasoned decision, it just is. Saying “you can’t know until whatever” is wrong. It just is, that’s really all I can say about it, there is really no way to explain it.

I can’t imagine a situation where this would occur. Is there some sort of James Bond villain saying, “My sharks are hungry, which is is to be, you or your kid?”

I would certainly risk my life to save either of my children, neither of whom are minors, BTW. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, you always love them the same. I’d also go broke trying to save them, if they got need to be in the clutches of our evil health care machine.

As for the “I need to be there for any remaining children” argument…I know that people do survive the loss of a child. Many here on the Board have. I fear, though, that what I would be like after that loss wouldn’t really be a gift to any remaining children anyhow. I hope I never find out, and I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t know about that.

Yes, absolutely.

I think that parents do demonstrate their willingness to self-sacrifice in a dozen daily choices.

Walking through a parking lot together? Here, son, hold this hand and walk on this side of me, so that I have put myself between you and moving vehicles.

which one? (I keed, I keed)

I think the process would be:
“I must save my child” followed closely by “whoops, looks like I’m not gonna make it.”

I don’t think there will be an evaluation ahead of time, just save the youngun and get out if you can.