Good Samaritan laws


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If you saw a little girl lying on the ground crying for help, wouldn’t you stop and help her or call 911? If you answered yes, then you have proven that you are a better person than most of the people involved in this story.


The incident in question took place on Oct 13 when 2-year-old Wang Yue was hit by two vans in a market place in Foshan City, China. She wasn’t taken to the hospital until almost ten minutes after she was hit and countless people passed her by. Sadly she died on Oct. 21, after spending eight days in critical condition.


The problem is that no one was willing to help her despite the countless people who walked by and did nothing. I mean, is it that hard to stop and help someone in need? All it takes is a little compassion and a little of your time to become a good samaritan.


But like all things in this world, there are always two sides to the story. Many people of Chinese descent are hesitant to give people aid for fear that they will be held financially responsible. There have been several instances recently in which good samaritans have been slapped with lawsuits by individuals they sought to help. Many Chinese officials have used this lawsuit culture to explain the recent incident with 2-year-old Yue, highlighting the fact that China does not have any Good Samaritan laws.


I think the following quote highlights the problem best: “If she is dead, I may pay only about 20,000 yuan ($3,125),” said the driver of the first vehicle to run over Yue, in an article by the Christian Post. “But if she is injured, it may cost me hundreds of thousands yuan.”


California has Good Samaritan laws, but do you really need the government to create a law so you can justify helping someone in need? You would think that simple human decency is the only necessary requirement. You can make your own code of conduct; your own code of honor.


The incident with young Yue has sparked some debate as to whether or not China should implement some sort of Good Samaritan law requiring passersby to help people like Yue. The problem in this case is that the law is reactive instead of being proactive, only being introduced after the fact. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragedy like that of Yue’s death to spark real systematic and social change.