Results Are In: It’s Better than Being Dead

A woman is choking.  No one does anything to help her.  They all stop and stare, some scream “Hurry, get a doctor!”  But no one helps.  The woman falls on the floor when no one aids her.  Suddenly, a young man runs up to her and quickly searches for a vital pulse.  A faint pulse.  He begins performing CPR. When the paramedics arrive they quickly take over and bring her to the hospital.  At the hospital, X-rays come back showing the woman has a broken rib, that was more than likely caused by the CPR the young man performed on her earlier.

Instead of being thankful, the woman tries to take the young man to suit.  Is this right?  Shouldn’t she just be grateful that she didn’t die and the young man was the ONLY person to help her when no one else would help her.  Why should people who are doing nothing more than going out of their way to help some stranger be penalized?

A Good Samaritan

A Good Samaritan in legal terms refers to someone who renders aid in an emergency to an injured person on a voluntary basis. Usually, if a volunteer comes to the aid of an injured or ill person who is a stranger, the person giving the aid owes the stranger a duty of being reasonably careful. A person is not obligated by law to do first aid in most states, not unless it’s part of a job description. However, some states will consider it an act of negligence though, if a person doesn’t at least call for help. Generally, where an unconscious victim cannot respond, a good Samaritan can help them on the grounds of implied consent. However, if the victim is conscious and can respond, a person should ask their permission to help them first.

Some states offer immunity to good Samaritans, but sometimes negligence could result in a claim of negligent care if the injuries or illness were made worse by the volunteer’s negligence. Statutes typically don’t exempt a good Samaritan who acts in a willful and wanton or reckless manner in providing the care, advice, or assistance. Good Samaritan laws often don’t apply to a person rendering emergency care, advice, or assistance during the course or regular employment, such as services rendered by a health care provider to a patient in a health care facility.

Under the good Samaritan laws which grant immunity, if the good Samaritan makes an error while rendering emergency medical care, he or she cannot be held legally liable for damages in court. However, two conditions usually must be met; 1) the aid must be given at the scene of the emergency, and. 2) if the “volunteer” has other motives, such as the hope of being paid a fee or reward, then the law will not apply.

It’s Better than Being Dead

People who go out of their way to help others, shouldn’t be challenged.  They shouldn’t have to worry whether or not they are going to be sued.  You have a broken rib?  So what?  It’s better than being DEAD.  At least you get to walk away and live another day.  The Good Samaritan Law doesn’t protect every one under all circumstances.  You have to be careful with who you save and how you save them, and I find that pretty damn sad.

Saving someone’s life should be the FIRST priority.  Not having to worry about what lawyer will cover your ass once you do end up saving them.  If you think I am being biased because in a few short weeks I, myself will be certified in CPR and all procedures accompanying that, you would be right.  Maybe I am biased because I believe in saving people rather than being a “sue-happy” person. 

It’s just like the fat ass that sues McDonalds for “making them fat and/or gain weight.”  It just doesn’t work like that.  You shouldn’t sue someone just because you are in a little pain… or a lot for that matter.  That person you are looking to sue, just pulled you out of a burning car, performed CPR on you until the paramedics got to you, kept your heart beating.  So before you head down to the law office maybe you should check yourself. 

You might not be 100% perfect, but you are alive and it’s mainly because of that good Samaritan. 

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