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Some of the rules written in the death note state

Whether the cause of the individual’s death is either a suicide or accident. If the death leads to the death of more than the intended, the person will simply die of a heart attack. This is to ensure that other lives are not influenced.

Even though only one name is written in the Death Note, if it influences and causes other humans that are not written in it to die, the victim’s cause of death will be a heart attack

Besides the fact that I find these 2 rules to be contradicting ( correct me if im wrong) it still made me curious. Is or is it not possible to kill people indirectly with the deathnote. For example writing a Heart surgeons name during a operation. Or a pilot while mid flight.

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

People who name is not written in the note shall not die due someone else that will die due his name being in the Death Note, both rules can be boiled down to that. That is what the If the death leads to the death of more than the intended means. As long as the death of the person leads to someone else dead, or the conditions prior death can cause death to others, they will die of a heart attack.

There's no contradiction, both rules says the same just in different ways.

In the example you made: both will die in such way that nobody else dies. The surgeon will step back of the table and die, the pilot will die when he's not piloting. Of course, this is mere supposition and details could escape.

Light made some experiments trying to kill in such impossible ways (like a Japanese prisoner died in front of Eiffel Tower), those died on hearts attacks.

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The rules aren't contradicting. Both say that you cannot use the death note to kill other people whose names aren't written in it. For example, you can't write

John Doe went to the mall, took out a rifle, shot everyone in the moll dead, then had an heart attack

Because that would mean other people would die.

As for your specific examples, you cannot write passenger plane crash as the cause of death for a pilot, because that would kill other passengers too. If you wanted, you could write "The pilot disabled the auto-pilot, then had an heart attack". That way, the plane crash has nothing to do with his death, and the plane would still (probably) crash.

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In the first case you say, crash as cause of death. Then he would just die of a heart attack, the crash will then most likely still happen. It contradicts the Other lives not influenced part –  Dimitri mx Feb 8 at 15:11
    
I doubt the pilot could disable the autopilot if it causes someone else dead. I think that the Death Note rule should be interpreted: as long as someone death leads to other people die, such person will die of a heart attack. –  Braiam Feb 8 at 15:35
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Going by the letter of the law,

If the death leads to the death of more than the intended, the person will simply die of a heart attack.”

logically implies that the surgeon and pilot will die of heart attacks.

This probably makes the most sense. Were it otherwise, people who know the rules could make themselves (nearly) invincible to the Death Note by having a system by which, if they die, someone else is killed (or kills themself). I say “nearly” because the cause of death could be made to say “die at midnight” for both people, and that might kill them. Obviously, the Death Note user would have to know both people involved, which could be made near-impossible quite easily.

Though, there is the further question of whether “die at midnight” would work. One person's name has to be written first, and at the time at which it is written, it is not allowed. However, writing the other person's name after then makes it allowed again. When are the rules evaluated, and by what means? Death Note has the power to predict the future of its victims, but can it predict the future of its own use? This is into the realm of time paradoxes!

Or, you could just say that they die of a heart attack. ;-)

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