However, is there really a solution for combat-averse people?
That question was almost the opposite of your original post which was (paraphrased) "How do we make people take death more seriously."
Are you looking for examples on how to make people take death more seriously? Or are you looking for ways to encourage combat-adverse people to be less adverse?
If it's the former, I don't know the answer. I do understand the problem. I have seen first hand gangers getting beat to the edge of death, passing out from the pain, then waking back up and continuing to talk smack, only to get beat down again, wake up again and continue the process. It was STUPID. The player obviously had zero fear for their character.
The only thought that I have on how to make people take being beat nearly to death seriously is to take characters away from players who don't take it seriously. Staff can give them one or two OOC warnings to remain IC. But if the third time comes around and they're still short selling it, just take the character away and make them re-roll. This is a pretty extreme "solution", but it conveys the seriousness of it. If a player is going to act stupid / unbelievable ICly because they do not have any OOC concern for their character (eg the "Code" protects my character), then there should be an OOC response to it. My two cents.
What I really wanted to talk about is "combat aversion" and why that is something that needs to be "fixed".
My character is combat adverse. He is not a "combat" character. He is trying to play a supporting role. I am one of those people who is here for the roleplaying. I am not here to win. Or to create a big, powerful character who can curb stomp anyone they come across.
The way I see it, the ability to play a non-combat centric character is a good thing. It is a testament to the size of the player base and the stability of the MOO that it can support non-combat characters. Those characters expand the world and give it additional depth and complexity. Those characters have their own needs and wants that they will have to work with, and likely against, others to achieve.
I think what I am trying to say here is that player base is large enough at this point that there is plenty of combat and PVP, stat based conflict to be found. There are enough players here engaging in those kinds of activities, that a dozen or so people playing non-combat, or "combat-adverse" characters is not going to be detrimental to players who want to log on and have people to fight with.