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Biting the hand that helps

(Global Times)

08:41, September 13, 2011

Illustration: Lu Ting/GT

It takes generations to build a positive and optimistic society, held together by mutual respect and trust; but it may only take a few seconds to destroy such a society.

Last week, an 88-year-old man in Wuhan, Hubei Province, collapsed just outside the entrance to a vegetable market. But rather than people rushing to his aid, he was ignored by everyone, despite the fact he was in obvious distress. He lay there untended for an incredible one and a half hours before he was recognized by a neighbor. The victim's family was contacted and he was finally taken to hospital. But it was too late. The man was declared dead after suffocating on his own blood.

"If those bystanders had helped my father, there was a chance he might have survived," the deceased's son told local media.

But maybe those bystanders had reasons of their own for not helping.

In 2006, an elderly woman in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, sued a man who came to her aid after she collapsed in the street. The man was ordered by a judge to pay 45,000 yuan ($7,043) to the woman, who suffered bone fractures.

The verdict implied that the young man must have been responsible for the woman's accident; otherwise, why would he have helped her?

The incident sparked a debate about the dangers in being a "Good Samaritan."

And unsurprisingly, many people started to feel it simply wasn't worth offering help to someone who had had a similar accident.

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Canada at 2011-09-1370.36.49.*
People should always stop & help, and they should be encouraged to read the information put out by the government on how to best do so. Perhaps the law needs to be reviewed.

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