In a lot of major cities around the world, people are hesitant to get involved when they see an injured person. After all, if movies have taught us one thing, it’s that the people who go to check on the fallen hero are often the first to get picked off by a terminator or Mike Myers in hot pursuit.
At best stopping to assist someone with a wound will likely set you off on a journey that Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls “an rip-roaring, edge-of-your-seat adventure” and seriously, who has time for all that?
That might be why Good Samaritans are hard to come by in big cities everywhere, and in Beijing the government is looking to change that by offering protections in what is casually being referred to as the Good Person Protection Ordinance. However, rather than killbots and monsters, this measure will protect helpful souls from a much more real threat.
Under the existing law in China if a regular person gets involved in the medical treatment of an injured person in public then they may be held accountable for any complications that may arise. For example, if you try to help someone who was hit by a car and they end up paralyzed, even if you had nothing to do with how they sustained their injuries there’s a chance you may end up helping to pay their hospital bills for the rest of either of your lives.
Whether these lawsuits are motivated by hysterical grieving or an opportunistic grab for cash is unclear. Nevertheless they have made most Chinese people extremely wary of getting involved — such an incident occurred a few months ago when a man drove right past a fallen woman on the side of the road, only to later learn that it had been his own mother .
This level of standoffishness in Chinese society has reached the point that the Beijing People’s Congress Standing Committee has decided to take action. On 24 July they revealed some details of the deliberation over the Paramedic Service regulations including the Good Person Protection Ordinance.
Under this ordinance, anyone who assists an injured person before the paramedics arrive at a scene shall not be held liable for the person’s injuries. And that’s it really.
Actually, I’m not sure why this needs much deliberation anyway. Sure, anything is possible and there might be some twisted individuals out there looking to manhandle already injured people and risk a lawsuit just for the evil thrill of it, but I think that’s a risk worth taking in this case.
Source: Focus-Asia via My Game News Flash (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikimedia Commons