In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Michael Dorn played Worf, the proud Klingon warrior, for seven seasons and did a lot of growing and learning along the way.
Worf often struggled with his Klingon roots as he’d been raised by humans after the death of his parents. But he usually stayed true to his heritage and considered honor to be the highest of priorities. So it’s no surprise he would place that above all else even though he did allow himself to be dishonored for the greater good for the Klingon Empire.
In the season five Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Ethics,” Worf ended up paralyzed after an accident in the cargo bay crushed his spine. When he realized he’d never walk again, Worf asks Commander Riker to help him commit ritual suicide as was the Klingon custom. But Riker doesn’t want any part of that. He takes the situation to Captain Picard who sees Worf’s side of things by telling Riker that Klingon custom and beliefs are different than humans. But Riker reminds Worf that the right of the ritual belongs to Alexander, the first son, and tells Worf that he cannot help him.
Star Trek: The Next Generation brought up a moral dilemna in this episode
And though a Screenrant writer believes Worf was a jerk for considering suicide, in fact, calling it “one of Worf’s biggest jerk moments,” mainly because of Alexander, it would be difficult for anyone to turn their back on a custom that has been ingrained in them.
On top of that, Klingons placed high value in their ability to fight and considered such a condition dishonorable, Worf most likely believed he wouldn’t be able to take care of Alexander, as well, and knew someone else would step in to take his place. In moments of crisis, one doesn’t always think rationally. And it would have been difficult for a proud warrior to face the thought of a life of paralysis, especially knowing it would bring dishonor to Alexander, too. So it’s understandable that he would have wanted to take the honorable way out, even though it wasn’t something humans could understand or support.
In the end, Worf chose life and a risky surgery, and ultimately, he did choose Alexander. But he wasn’t a jerk for at first wanting to adhere to the Klingon tradition.