The moral conundrum of a human bisection **WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGERY**


Even by internet gore standards, it is a test of will to watch this video through. The video takes place in a foreign country but it’s difficult to tell which due to the lack of audio. Judging by the onlookers, I might venture Latin America. This specific type of bodily automobile/train accident carnage is actually prevalent in the “goresphere.” The site where this video appears, Goregrish, certainly has similar videos of people who have had unfortunate encounters with trains and vehicles which left them flailing helplessly after suffering injuries which left them sliced in half at the waist, usually from the force of steel train wheels or massive truck tires. What makes the videos so magnetically and reprehensibly addictive to gore sickos like me is that the subjects are not dead yet! It is possible for the human torso to remain viable after experiencing a traumatic injury which “bisects” the lower half of the body, as long as internal organs are not severely injured. Nevertheless, such an injury is so shocking and unsettling to behold that the natural human reaction is hopelessness and panic. We are convinced there is no way this person can survive. We can’t consider any other outcome.



This is a screenshot I grabbed from the Goregrish video.


The man is conscious but due to lack of sound and clear video, I can’t say for sure whether he is lucid or not. I would think the pure blinding trauma of such an accident would leave the victim in an untouchable stupor of shock. This victim is prone, laying face down on the road, not far from the tires that severed his body at the waist. He appears to squirm in a puddle of his own blood, waste, and other ruptured entrails. His hoodie is soaked crimson at places. Occasionally he lifts his head, even shakes it at times. I thought at one point he tried to drag himself forward in futility. There is no backstory. There is no conclusion or resolution. All we know is that this poor man’s bisected body was surrounded by frightened witnesses who didn’t approach or comfort him, and in fact, only approached to get a better shot on their video camera.


My first instinct was pity for this guy’s obvious and public suffering in the face of no hope. It’s bad enough to be killed in an accident, quite another to experience this death in a protracted, dehumanizing manner. There can be no hope for him. Death is imminent, surely. I’m not medical doctor, but how in the world can anyone survive such a physically destructive assault to their body? Look at all the blood he lost…several arteries had to have been severed. And he was still losing deadly units of blood. And if the blood loss isn’t astounding in itself, the physical bodily damage suffered from being partially flattened by a wide tire wielded by tons of mobile metal must in itself be deadly. It’s hard to tell where he was “detached” but let’s assume it was at the waist. His intestines are damaged and propelled by the sudden pressurization of his abdominal cavity. Any digestive tract remaining must be damaged beyond repair. The shock and skeletal damage in themselves are enough to kill a man.


My first instinct upon viewing this video was that this man should be shot in the head for the sake of humanity. The suffering resulting in this injury is worse than death. There is no suffering greater than gradually watching as your life seeps slowly from your massacred body because the injuries refuse to kill you quickly. If I shot this man in the head, I would probably be tried for murder. So I wouldn’t do it. Human law and morality presume that we are not the final arbiters of miracles or outcomes. Even though common sense tells us this poor soul is dying, common sense is not moral authority. We live in a culture of belief and magic. Our ethics are shaped by potential fantasy, so we are denied the right to release a human of his spiraling, death-bound suffering. I don’t get it. If a dog, or a horse, or any other animal was in a similar predicament, we would be encouraged to kill it and put it out of its misery. What is the difference between consciously deciding the outcome of the life of a dog or the life of a man? Each hinges on an unapproachable moral construct we can never presume to own, right? If I shot the man, it would be due to kindness, not evil. His suffering is my suffering.


In the throes of such a nightmarish scene, we don’t have time to search Google with such a ridiculous query as is it possible for a human to survive being cut in half at the waist? In fact, if they are to be believed, which they certainly seem to deserve, some people have survived such a dramatic injury.


Truman Duncan.


Peng Shulin.


Duncan’s case seems solid but he was bisected by the rails of a train and apparently, one of his legs remained attached by the sliver of a muscle. Shulin’s case seems legitimate but there are those vocal few who question its veracity.


In the case of this video, the injuries appear to be so grave that possibility of survival would indeed be miraculous. The injuries seem to have transcended mere “bisection” but further destroyed much of the victim’s skeletal integrity and spine.


The law errs on the side of miraculous. To deny the miraculous is to be a murderer.