The Argument

The woman grabbed at her throat with her right hand while her left fought to gain attention. Her companion yelled for help in the restaurant as she tried to breathe. Diners and waiters looked on in horror as nobody came to her assistance. At a nearby table sat another couple, having an argument.

Look, for goodness sakes Dave, you’re a doctor. You must have done this sort of thing before!”

Of course I have, but this is different.”


I don’t have the right equipment.”

Surely all you need is a knife, and you have one right there, in your hand.”

Yes. It’s just-”

What, what is it just? Listen to her Dave, she can’t breathe. If you don’t do something now, she may die.”

You don’t understand.”

Too right I don’t. The Hippocratic oath says that you must help everyone.”

Damn it Cathy. There is more to this than meets the eye.”

No Dave, there really isn’t. You save this woman, or you let her die. It’s as simple as that. If you can’t do it, I will. Now give me the knife.” said Cathy as she reached for the glinting weapon.

You can’t. You’re not trained, one false move could kill her. You have to make the incision below the Adam’s apple so she can breathe.”

So do it then!”


What are you arguing for?”

I can’t-”

Listen to her, she can’t have much time left. Do it now, or she will die. What possible argument could you have against saving her?”


Do it!”


What sort of man hesitates at a time like this! No future husband of mine that’s for sure. No wonder your ex-wife left you. You need a backbone, now do it!”

Dave got up from his seat, walked over and knelt next to the body, bringing the sharp point of the knife close to the struggling woman’s neck. Her lips were already turning blue as he pressed down into the flesh. Blood oozed out of the slit, turning into a small stream as Dave fished in his pocket for a pen. Once he had it prepared, his fingers guided the clear plastic tube easily into the hole, letting air rush in to desperate lungs.

There, now doesn’t it feel better to save someone’s life?”

Not really.” mumbled Dave.

The lips returned to a pale pink as the body pushed unforgiving oxygen around and around.

So who do you think she is, anyway?” said Cathy as she studied the woman’s face.

She’s the ex-wife.”

What, are you serious?”

I was married to her for six years, of course I’m serious!”

I, I didn’t know.”

I had a chance to end all the pain and suffering she’s caused. But no, I had to save her life.”

Why didn’t you say?”

Would it have made any difference?”

No, no it wouldn’t.”

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