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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Ethics (1992)

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5: Episode 16 -- Loyalty and ethics clash when a paralyzed Worf asks to help him commit suicide.


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Gene Roddenberry (created by)
Ronald D. Moore (teleplay by)
View company contact information for Ethics on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
29 February 1992 (Season 5, Episode 16)
After an accident that leaves him no longer able to walk, Worf asks Riker to help him commit suicide. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The right to die See more (7 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Chip Chalmers 
Writing credits
Gene Roddenberry (created by)

Ronald D. Moore (teleplay by)

Sara B. Cooper (story by) (as Sara Charno) &
Stuart Charno (story by)

Produced by
Rick Berman .... executive producer
Peter Lauritson .... co-producer
David Livingston .... producer
Joe Menosky .... co-producer
Ronald D. Moore .... co-producer
Wendy Neuss .... associate producer
Michael Piller .... executive producer
Gene Roddenberry .... executive producer
Jeri Taylor .... supervising producer
Herbert Wright .... producer (as Herbert J. Wright)
Original Music by
Dennis McCarthy 
Cinematography by
Marvin V. Rush (director of photography) (as Marvin Rush)
Film Editing by
Robert Lederman 
Casting by
Junie Lowry-Johnson 
Ron Surma 
Production Design by
Richard D. James 
Set Decoration by
Jim Mees 
Costume Design by
Robert Blackman 
William Ware Theiss (original costumes)
Makeup Department
Patricia Miller .... hair stylist (as Patty Miller)
Gerald Quist .... makeup artist
Susan Carol Schwary .... hair designer
June Westmore .... makeup artist (as June Abston Haymore)
Michael Westmore .... makeup designer
Michael Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Merri D. Howard .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Dean III .... first assistant director (as Doug Dean)
Adele Simmons .... second assistant director (as Adele G. Simmons)
Art Department
Andrew Neskoromny .... assistant art director (as Andy Neskoromny)
Michael Okuda .... scenic art supervisor
Alan Sims .... property master
Al Smutko .... construction coordinator
Gary Speckman .... set designer
Rick Sternbach .... senior illustrator
Cari Thomas .... scenic artist
Herman F. Zimmerman .... original set designer (as Herman Zimmerman)
Ed Miarecki .... props (uncredited)
Michael W. Moore .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Wilson Dyer .... sound editor
Alfred T. Ferrante .... adr mixer
William Gocke .... sound mixer (as Bill Gocke)
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Bill Wistrom .... supervising sound editor
James Wolvington .... sound editor
Dan Yale .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Dick Brownfield .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Paul Hill .... visual effects artist
Adam Howard .... visual effects compositor
Gary Hutzel .... visual effects coordinator
Robert Legato .... visual effects supervisor
David Takemura .... visual effects associate
Gregory Jein .... model maker (uncredited)
Dennis Madalone .... stunt coordinator
Tracee Cocco .... stunts (uncredited)
James Minor .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Chess .... camera operator
William L. Peets .... chief lighting technician (as William Peets)
Robert Sordal .... first company grip (as Bob Sordal)
Joey Genitempo .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Helen Mossler .... casting executive
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jerry Bono .... key costumer
Carol Kunz .... wardrobe supervisor
Maurice Palinski .... costumer
Editorial Department
Wendy Knoller .... post-production coordinator (as Wendy Rosenfeld)
Music Department
Alexander Courage .... composer: main title theme
Jerry Goldsmith .... composer: main title theme
Gerry Sackman .... music editor
Other crew
Cosmo Genovese .... script supervisor
Heidi Julian .... production associate
Terri Martinez .... production associate
Michael Okuda .... technical consultant
Diane Overdiek .... production coordinator
Rick Sternbach .... technical consultant
Eric A. Stillwell .... pre-production associate
Brannon Braga .... show staff writer (uncredited)
Michael Piller .... showrunner (uncredited)
Dennis Tracy .... stand-in: Patrick Stewart (uncredited)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gene Roddenberry  created by

Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist
R. Christopher Biggs .... special makeup effects artist
Dean Jones .... makeup artist
Michael R. Jones .... makeup artist
Nina Kent .... makeup artist
Michael Key .... makeup artist
Mike Smithson .... makeup artist
Rick Stratton .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ron Dempsey .... dga trainee
Bruce Sears .... dga trainee
Richard 'Dub' Wright .... assistant director
Art Department
Lloyd A. Buswell .... construction foreman (seasons 1-7)
Sharon Davis .... graphics assistant
Dragon Dronet .... weapons, specialty props and miniatures
Jim Dultz .... assistant art director
Gregory A. Weimerskirch .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Marty Church .... foley mixer
Special Effects by
Edward J. Franklin .... special effects
John Palmer .... special effects coordinator
Robert Cole .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Les Bernstien .... motion control
C.W. Fallin .... motion control operator
Simon Holden .... digital compositor
Bruce Jones .... visual effects producer
Gray Marshall .... motion control operator
Karl J. Martin .... digital artist
Chris B. Schnitzer .... motion control technician (seasons 6 and 7)
Steven J. Scott .... digital compositor
Ken Stranahan .... visual effects
Greg Stuhl .... miniatures: Greg Jein, Inc.
Peter Webb .... digital compositor
Peter W. Moyer .... visual effects compositor (uncredited)
LaFaye Baker .... stunts
Chuck Borden .... stunts
Ericka Bryce .... stunts
John Cade .... stunts
Anthony Cecere .... stunts
Erik Cord .... stunts
Alex Daniels .... stunt creatures
Nick Dimitri .... stunts
Chuck Hicks .... stunts
Terry James .... stunts
Maria R. Kelly .... stunts
Steve Kelso .... stunts
Dan Koko .... stunt double: Jonathan Frakes (1987-1991)
Lane Leavitt .... stunts
Scott Leva .... stunts
Tom Morga .... stunts
John Nowak .... stunt double
Rex Pierson .... stunts
Pat Romano .... stunts
Michael J. Sarna .... stunts
Gary J. Wayton .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Howard Block .... director of photography: second unit
Brian S. Cooper .... electrician
Adam Glick .... set lighting technician
Frederick Iannone .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Editorial Department
Alan Chudnow .... assistant editor
Tim Tommasino .... assistant editor
Music Department
Scott Cochran .... scoring mixer: advertising music
John Debney .... conductor
Other crew
Gregory Benford .... scientific consultant
Hala Gabriel .... production accountant
Dolores Hundley-Arce .... assistant accountant
Suzie Shimizu .... production accountant
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

46 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

In many episodes (especially in Ten Forward) there is a pyramid-shaped game on the table in the setting. This is the first instance in which one is actually being played with.See more »
[first lines]
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:No question about it. She was bluffing, Worf.
Lieutenant Worf:Bluffing is not one of Counselor Troi's strong suits -... - No, it would've been unwise to call. Yes, my hand was not strong enough.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:You had jacks and eights, and she bluffed you with a pair of sixes.
Lieutenant Worf:How did *you* know what I had?
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:Let's just say I had a special insight into the cards.
[points at his VISOR]
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:Maybe next time you should bring a deck that's not transparent to infrared light.
[Worf looks at him suspiciously]
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:[jovially] Not to worry, Worf. I only peek after the hand is over.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Star Trek: The Next Generation Main TitleSee more »


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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The right to die, 25 February 2016
Author: skiop from United States

Worf's spine is crushed, leaving him paralyzed. He wants to perform a ritual suicide to die with honor, but the self-righteous Crusher and Riker want to force him to live with the disability. Meanwhile, a specialist comes on board with an experimental procedure that could make it possible for Worf to walk again, but she meets constant resistance from Crusher.

For a normally left-wing show, this episode has a strong stench of the right-wing moral police. We're lead to believe that Worf shouldn't commit suicide, because of some moral objection two other characters have (when it's not about their lives). Other reviewers have mentioned "Half a Life" and how the message was not to interfere with another culture with a ritual suicide, but here, the exact opposite message is preached. They're right about the contradictory messages between these two episodes.

The episode reminds me of the Terri Schiavo case. She was in a persistent vegetative state and as per her positions from before going into a coma, she didn't want to be on prolonged life support, but the conservatives decided to stick their nose in and there was a huge polemic where there didn't need to be.

On the other hand, if this episode had focused on the ethics of the specialist using patients as objects of experimentation, it might have had a good message, but in the end, it seems to have been written by a preacher who wanted to push his life-is-sacred dogma even when he's not in church.

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