*** (3 stars out of 5)
Seven of his vertebrae broken and his spinal cord crushed by a falling cargo container, Mr. Worf is paralysed. (Ensign Ro secretly begins to wonder if she'll look good in security gold...)
Neuro-specialist Dr. Toby Russell from the Adelmen Neurological Institute kisses Crusher's butt about her recent Cybernetic Regeneration paper, but she has no interest in meeting a patient or listening to his FEELINGS.
It's true. Toby is a girl's name.
Klingon medicine is no help: cripples just have their friends help them. Help them onto a knife! This Hegh'bat Ceremony is the only option Worf can see.
Klingons have 23 ribs, two livers, an eight-chambered heart, and even a little extra brain in the butt. Not a PAIN in the, a BRAIN in the.
The safest, most advanced treatment is artificial implants that will eventually get Worf 60% mobile. He refuses. (He's probably using that butt-brain.)
Russell wants to use her unproven genetronic replicator to grow Worf a new spinal column. It's just like growing fur on a Chia Pet, only with a spine! Crusher doesn't want to risk it, but it's slightly less guaranteed fatal than the Hegh'bat.
Picard assures Crusher that they have to let Crazy try. "Beverly, he can't make the journey you're asking of him... A Klingon may not be good at accepting defeat but he knows all about taking risks."
Riker reminds Worf of Aster, Yar, and others. Fighting for life to the very end. "I may have to respect your beliefs, but I don't have to like them," Will barks.
Also, he looked up Hegh'bat and reminds Worf: the most correct version of the ritual has the eldest son bring the knife, then wait for his daddy to stab his own heart and wipe the blood on the kid's sleeve. Worse still, it is typically performed at peak hours in the middle of a Klingon Chuck E. Cheese.
Worf opts for the crazy Russell risk. If he dies, he wants Troi to raise Alexander.
They can keep his severed brain on life support for 3 hours, 26 minutes! He dies anyway.
Long after the exhausted doctors call it quits, Worf's back-up Klingon synapses bring him back to life. Suck on that, Secret Vulcan Eyelids!
Bev lectures Toby and calls her down for her bad medicine, but I suspect Russell can't hear her over the sound of a dead man walking and all the awards and grant credits she'll be rolling in.
Worf's back on his gnarled (presumably ordinary) Klingon feet once more. And nobody had to kill nobody!
Who gets to keep the old spine? It might make a hearty soup if Worf doesn't want it...
"Ethics" is not a bad little tale. Am I a spoilsport if I point out that Worf's blood isn't Pepto-Pink like Gorkon's?
And if he puts it under his pillow, somebody's gonna get a visit from the Spine Fairy!