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#1
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So yesterday in a seminar I had a presentation in which I was supposed to present a field study observation thing I did in a shopping center. One thing that stuck out was that at one point, some obviously alcohol affected people started being loud and fight a bit with eachother. Naturally, everyone else looked away and pretended it didn't happen, which I found was a pretty common defense mechanism. I asked the class people should do something, lest the look-away-strategy becomes a complete norm and no one does anything about anything and people who fight in public don't get any reprimands like they "should" which led to a debate on the topic. Many agreed we should have a good samaritan's law and intervene, while others felt it's not "their problem" and they "respect the individual" too much to help.


Here's a defintion of it just so we're all on the same page:

Good Samaritan laws are laws or acts protecting those who choose to serve and tend to others who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. They are intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. In Canada, a good Samaritan doctrine is a legal principle that prevents a rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress from being successfully sued for 'wrongdoing'. Its purpose is to keep people from being reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions should they make some mistake in treatment.[1]


So, I ask, what do you think about good samaritan's laws? Are they a good idea? What should they involve? Should they simply remove the legal reprecussions, or perhaps criminalize individuals who don't help?

I personally think they're a good idea. For some reason we don't have them in Sweden, and I think we should. People here rationalize not intervening as "respecting the person's space" but I feel they're just saying it to make themselves feel better about not helping. I don't like the idea of criminalizing behaviour, so let's go with the removing legal reprecussions bit.
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#2
Also ties in with the Genovese syndrome... More people around and you are less likely to help.
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#3
From that excerpt it sounds like it'd be great but it'd probably take a generation or two (from implementation) for the benefits to be seen properly.
#4
Quote by Kensai
or perhaps criminalize individuals who don't help?

That is the worst idea, ever. I also think that even removing legal repercussions would probably cause more harm than good; for example, people 'helping' in situations which they don't understand and shouldn't be involved with -- they can't be given legal immunity because their actions could have worsened the situation and nothing can be done about it.
Last edited by CrimsonBizzare at Mar 15, 2012,
#5
Hard to enforce, what's the difference between stopping a fight between two people and me jumping in on the side of my friend in the way it will look to a police officer?

I don't like em there are enough people in the world to afford to lose a few to fractured skulls.
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#6
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
Hard to enforce, what's the difference between stopping a fight between two people and me jumping in on the side of my friend in the way it will look to a police officer?

I don't like em there are enough people in the world to afford to lose a few to fractured skulls.

Because if you jump in on the side of one, it's kind of obvious, since rather than trying to separate them, you'll be hitting one of them.
#7
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
That is the worst idea, ever. I also think that even removing legal repercussions would probably cause more harm than good; for example, people 'helping' in situations which they don't understand and shouldn't be involved with -- they can't be given legal immunity because their actions could have worsened the situation and nothing can be done about it.

I don't agree with punishing someone whose intent was to help.
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
Hard to enforce, what's the difference between stopping a fight between two people and me jumping in on the side of my friend in the way it will look to a police officer?

Because you don't attack people when you're trying to break up a fight. Don't they teach you how to do this shit in America?
#8
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Because if you jump in on the side of one, it's kind of obvious, since rather than trying to separate them, you'll be hitting one of them.


Doesn't work like that. If the police see 3 people in the middle of the street (2 actually fighting, 1 trying to break it up) causing a disturbance, 99/100 they'll arrest all 3.
#9
^ I'm English but what I mean is fight has finished, police show up to take a report I could say 'nar bro I just tried to split it up' how could they argue?

And dam straight they would arrest all three, and anyone within a mile radius looking dodgy if their English police
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Last edited by Mr.DeadDuck at Mar 15, 2012,
#10
Quote by devourke
I don't agree with punishing someone whose intent was to help.

Physical consequences matter much more in reality than somebody's intent. If a doctor intends to help a patient but supplies the wrong drug due to his own incompetence and it causes harm to the patient, the doctor has to face some negative consequences.
#11
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
That is the worst idea, ever. I also think that even removing legal repercussions would probably cause more harm than good; for example, people 'helping' in situations which they don't understand and shouldn't be involved with -- they can't be given legal immunity because their actions could have worsened the situation and nothing can be done about it.

So what, just leave it to the professionals? What if they're not there and many minutes away? Or simply won't take a call about two homeless people fighting?
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#12
in norway you can actually get a fine for not helping someone. for example, a guy didnt help a woman sleeping in her car. he thought she'd suicided and called for the cops (yes cops. not ambulance. derp). he then drove away instead of following 911s instructions about helping the woman.
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Last edited by magvol at Mar 15, 2012,
#13
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
Physical consequences matter much more in reality than somebody's intent. If a doctor intends to help a patient but supplies the wrong drug due to his own incompetence and it causes harm to the patient, the doctor has to face some negative consequences.

Luckily that's not really applicable in the "Good Samaritans Law" seeing as it's aimed at regular people, not doctors doing their jobs.

Quote by Malchius
Doesn't work like that. If the police see 3 people in the middle of the street (2 actually fighting, 1 trying to break it up) causing a disturbance, 99/100 they'll arrest all 3.

I'm pretty sure you mean they'll detain all 3, then find out what happened, and then arrest those guilty of crimes.
Last edited by devourke at Mar 15, 2012,
#14
Quote by Kensai
So what, just leave it to the professionals? What if they're not there and many minutes away? Or simply won't take a call about two homeless people fighting?


Give responsibility to resolve situations sensibly to the unwashed masses? Are you sure?
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#15
Wasn't this the thing that got everyone arrested on the series finale of Seinfeld?
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#16
Quote by Kensai
So what, just leave it to the professionals? What if they're not there and many minutes away? Or simply won't take a call about two homeless people fighting?

People can help, but that intent to do so cannot automatically give them legal immunity. If their actions cause more hard than good, they cannot be shielded from the law or they will not face any consequences. If they did end up 'helping', they still shouldn't really need legal protection because all parties would look upon them positively with no intention of taking legal action against them. If, for some reason, they did, there should be enough evidence on the side of the 'helper' to prove they were doing good. If there isn't, you can't prove they intended to help in the first place and so even if there was a "Good Samaritans Law", it wouldn't protect them.


Quote by devourke
Luckily that's not really applicable in the "Good Samaritans Law" seeing as it's aimed at regular people, not doctors doing their jobs.

That was meant to be an analogy, not an example of something that may happen under a "Good Samaritans Law". Sorry for not making that clear.
Last edited by CrimsonBizzare at Mar 15, 2012,
#17
Quote by Demon Wolf
Also ties in with the Genovese syndrome... More people around and you are less likely to help.


That actually came up during the seminar.

Quote by magvol
in norway you can actually get a fine for not helping someone. for example, a guy didnt help a woman sleeping in her car. he thought she'd suicided and called for the cops (yes cops. not ambulance. derp). he then drove away instead of following 911s instructions about helping the woman.


That's weird, why did he just drive away?

Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
Give responsibility to resolve situations sensibly to the unwashed masses? Are you sure?


Wouldn't hurt to train them first in CPR and whatnot. Also, bathe them.
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#18
Quote by devourke


I'm pretty sure you mean they'll detain all 3, then find out what happened, and then arrest those guilty of crimes.


Still the fact you get arrested after trying to be a good samiritan is a bit of shit. You spend the next 12 hours in a cell for just trying to be nice.
#19
Quote by Kensai

Wouldn't hurt to train them first in CPR and whatnot. Also, bathe them.


So you would be happy with your life being put in the hands of someone whose had a crash course in CPR and maybe even a certificate who happened to be in the area? I saw someone who couldn't even co-ordinate enough to wear matching shoes on the bus today. Just sayin'
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#20
I'm not a fan of how "sue-happy" America has gotten in the last 20 years or so, so any legislation that keeps idiots from suing people who were genuinely trying to do their best is good in my book.

I'd also be amenable to some sort of (incredibly carefully worded) legislation protecting people who attempt to intervene in a violent situation, but I think that would be incredibly difficult to do well, and it would run the risk of protecting people who should be prosecuted.
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#21
Quote by CrimsonBizzare

Are you saying it is a bad analogy? If so, why?

Because a doctor is paid for their job which is to help people get better. If they are careless, lazy or incompetent and someone dies or is negatively affected because of it, then it is malpractice.
Joe Bloggs the Plumber is walking down the street and sees a woman lying on the side of the road with blood draining from her neck and decides to help her by lifting up her head so the blood won't drain as fast. He had no obligation (other than moral) to help her, but he did and under different circumstances it would have saved her life. Unfortunately, the woman was an epileptic and when he lifter her neck he triggered a fit. As he was holding her by the head, the woman's body had a stable base to push off. Her neck snapped during one of the more jarring movements and Joe is left holding a dead woman in his hands.

If he never helped then she might have lived. I don't think he should be accountable for her death.

EDIT:
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
So you would be happy with your life being put in the hands of someone whose had a crash course in CPR and maybe even a certificate who happened to be in the area? I saw someone who couldn't even co-ordinate enough to wear matching shoes on the bus today. Just sayin'

Better than nothing.
Quote by Malchius
Still the fact you get arrested after trying to be a good samiritan is a bit of shit. You spend the next 12 hours in a cell for just trying to be nice.

And possibly avoided one of the two getting seriously injured.

Worth it, imo.
Last edited by devourke at Mar 15, 2012,
#22
Quote by necrosis1193
Wasn't this the thing that got everyone arrested on the series finale of Seinfeld?


Yes it was. I didn't actually know it was a real law
#23
In the case of the fighting people, it's much different because they're interrupting your presentation. Other than that, I don't think anyone should interfere in my business. If I wanted to jump off a bridge, don't try to "rescue" me. It's my business and it shouldn't be yours.
#24
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
People can help, but that intent to do so cannot automatically give them legal immunity. If their actions cause more hard than good, they cannot be shielded from the law or they will not face any consequences. If they did end up 'helping', they shouldn't really need legal protection either because all parties would look upon them positively with no intention of taking legal action against them. If, for some reason, they did, there should be enough evidence on the side of the 'helper' to prove they were doing good. If there isn't, you can't prove they intended to help in the first place.


I think to some degree that it's the sue-happy society that keeps people from helping eachother, not that they know they'll do so much harm they're going to get sued.

Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
So you would be happy with your life being put in the hands of someone whose had a crash course in CPR and maybe even a certificate who happened to be in the area? I saw someone who couldn't even co-ordinate enough to wear matching shoes on the bus today. Just sayin'

If it's between that or nothing, I'm going with the CPR newbie. I won't care too much about their type of shoes... unless they're crocs.

Quote by ali.guitarkid7
In the case of the fighting people, it's much different because they're interrupting your presentation. Other than that, I don't think anyone should interfere in my business. If I wanted to jump off a bridge, don't try to "rescue" me. It's my business and it shouldn't be yours.

Oh no it was during my field study, not at the seminar That would've been... weird.
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#25
Quote by Kensai

I personally think they're a good idea. For some reason we don't have them in Sweden, and I think we should. People here rationalize not intervening as "respecting the person's space" but I feel they're just saying it to make themselves feel better about not helping.

or it could be because of you swedes' social awkwardness epidemic

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#26
Quote by Kensai

Oh no it was during my field study, not at the seminar That would've been... weird.

Oh my bad, I'm also alcohol affected


But I think it's one of the same. If there are two people being loud and fighting they're obviously going to be disturbing someone if it's in a public area. Those should be stopped, imo.
#27
Quote by devourke

EDIT:
Better than nothing.


I fall and hit my head go unconscious, idiot incorrectly identifies me as in cardiac arrest gives me CPR incorrectly cracks my rib punctures my lung and I choke to death on my own blood, extreme example but I would rather have a trained professional in every case except if I was in an extremely isolated place where help is unavailable.

Medical assistance isn't one of the situations were anyone can just show up and do it.
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Last edited by Mr.DeadDuck at Mar 15, 2012,
#28
Quote by devourke
Because a doctor is paid for their job which is to help people get better. If they are careless, lazy or incompetent and someone dies or is negatively affected because of it, then it is malpractice.
Joe Bloggs the Plumber is walking down the street and sees a woman lying on the side of the road with blood draining from her neck and decides to help her by lifting up her head so the blood won't drain as fast. He had no obligation (other than moral) to help her, but he did and under different circumstances it would have saved her life. Unfortunately, the woman was an epileptic and when he lifter her neck he triggered a fit. As he was holding her by the head, the woman's body had a stable base to push off. Her neck snapped during one of the more jarring movements and Joe is left holding a dead woman in his hands.

If he never helped then she might have lived. I don't think he should be accountable for her death.

I can't see the difference. You can't say he isn't as responsible, when trying to help her, as a doctor would be just because he isn't paid to do so, it isn't his duty to do so, or he isn't as knowledgeable as a doctor. His ignorance of the situation or lack of obligation to help does not excuse him and it shouldn't protect him legally.


Quote by Kensai
I think to some degree that it's the sue-happy society that keeps people from helping eachother, not that they know they'll do so much harm they're going to get sued.

There isn't as much of a "sue-happy" society over here, so maybe I didn't take that into account as much as I should have but any case with enough evidence to support the fact that the helper did actually intend to help (needed to give them legal protection under the 'Good Samaritans Law') should also have sufficient evidence to prove that they actually help (i.e. affect the situation positively), this should protect them even without the G.S. Law. If they affected the situation negatively, then they shouldn't be given legal protection just because of their intent and the person who is suing has the right to do so.
Last edited by CrimsonBizzare at Mar 15, 2012,
#29
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
People can help, but that intent to do so cannot automatically give them legal immunity. If their actions cause more hard than good, they cannot be shielded from the law or they will not face any consequences. If they did end up 'helping', they still shouldn't really need legal protection because all parties would look upon them positively with no intention of taking legal action against them. If, for some reason, they did, there should be enough evidence on the side of the 'helper' to prove they were doing good. If there isn't, you can't prove they intended to help in the first place and so even if there was a "Good Samaritans Law", it wouldn't protect them.


This is a problem in itself though. There have been a lot of cases where someone actually did help another person and got sued. There's been times when Person A is in a car wreck and Person B sees it happen. So then Person B rushes over, calls 911 and listens to what the operator tells them to do. They do it and end up saving Person A. Months later Person A gets out of the hospital and realizes they can sue Person B for helping without their consent of some bullshit like that. They sue and Person B is SOL.
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#30
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
In the case of the fighting people, it's much different because they're interrupting your presentation. Other than that, I don't think anyone should interfere in my business. If I wanted to jump off a bridge, don't try to "rescue" me. It's my business and it shouldn't be yours.

I think suicidal people should not jump off bridges around other people. It would suck for reflexive people to just be walking along and then instinctively run and jump off the side of the bridge to catch them.
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
I fall and hit my head go unconscious, idiot incorrectly identifies me as in cardiac arrest gives me CPR incorrectly cracks my rib punctures my lung and I choke to death on my own blood, extreme example but I would rather have a trained professional in every case except if I was in an extremely isolated place where help is unavailable.

If I was in your immediate family, I would not be suing that person and I wouldn't think he should be charged.
Quote by CrimsonBizzare
I can't see the difference. You can't say he isn't as responsible, when trying to help her, as a doctor would be just because he isn't paid to do so, it isn't his duty to do so, or he isn't as knowledgeable as a doctor. His ignorance of the situation or lack of obligation to help does not excuse him and it shouldn't protect him legally.

I guess we'll just have to disagree then. I'd rather get sued than watch someone die in front of me.
Last edited by devourke at Mar 15, 2012,
#31
I'm on board with protecting people who tried to help, but I'm a little wary of criminalizing the refusal to help. For example, should I be held liable if I saw someone I believed to be sleeping on a park bench, but they were really having a stroke and I didn't call an ambulance?
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#32
I dunno about the TS's specific situation, but in general I'm a large supporter of the law. I'm also an EMS worker, so I'm bias.


Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
I fall and hit my head go unconscious, idiot incorrectly identifies me as in cardiac arrest gives me CPR incorrectly cracks my rib punctures my lung and I choke to death on my own blood, extreme example but I would rather have a trained professional in every case except if I was in an extremely isolated place where help is unavailable.

Medical assistance isn't one of the situations were anyone can just show up and do it.



You'd die of a tension pneumothorax long before enough blood built up from a place that bleeds primarily in a capillary way to build up enough in your trachea to choke you...


...but I see your point, haha.
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Last edited by JustRooster at Mar 15, 2012,
#33
Quote by StewieSwan
I'm on board with protecting people who tried to help, but I'm a little wary of criminalizing the refusal to help. For example, should I be held liable if I saw someone I believed to be sleeping on a park bench, but they were really having a stroke and I didn't call an ambulance?

You should distinguish between someone sleeping comfortably on a bench and someone "sleeping" awkwardly on the pavement. Just give them a few light slaps on the cheek and see if they wake up.
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#34
In response to the OP I live in Canada and a police officer taught my first aid class.
He told us that unless you love the person dearly to not touch them and either continue on or call an ambulance if still nessessary. Once you begin treating them they are legally in your care until a paramedic or doctor shows up and gives you consent to stop. He also mentioned you can still be held liable for any further injury sustained, or death.

I still think you should help if you can without harming yourself though.
#35
Quote by Kensai
For some reason we don't have them in Sweden, and I think we should.

Because Swedes are stupid and Canadians are awesome.
#36
Taxes pay for police enforcement. Im not saving anyone from a fire or breaking up a fight for shit if I don't know them. We'll., maybe the fire one if I can, but anything else should NOT be my responsibility. I do it here because im behind my nice safe computer.
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#37
Quote by devourke


If I was in your immediate family, I would not be suing that person and I wouldn't think he should be charged.



Neither would I. I abhor suing culture, but I would have been better off without his intervention so there should be guidelines as to what to do in that situation which is if I'm not mistaken call an ambulance.
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#38
Not exactly the same, but in Italy (and probably in most other countries), if you run someone over and leave without doign anything, you get accused of not helping the victim.

Not the best exampmle but I thought I'd share

Here is a wiki article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_rescue

Although this would probably not be applied to bystanders in the fight example.

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#39
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
Neither would I. I abhor suing culture, but I would have been better off without his intervention so there should be guidelines as to what to do in that situation which is if I'm not mistaken call an ambulance.

Yeah I imagine that's what most people with a cellphone on them/phone nearby would try to do.
#40
We dont have them in the Uk, but nobody in the UK has ever been sued for administering first aid to somebody who needed it.

Also, dude if you think somebody would be so retarded enough to think they need to give an unconscious breathing person CPR, they arent the sort of person to even bother helping you..

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