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‘Good Samaritan Policy’

11/1/2017 168 Social Issues | Education | View Recent Current Affairs

  • Delhi government has approved ‘Good Samaritan Policy’ under which monetary incentive of Rs 2,000 and appreciation certificate will be given to people who help road accident victims in the national capital.
  • The scheme is intended to encourage people to take accident victims in emergency situation to hospitals so that someone’s life could be saved.

The Centre had also issued a notification regarding good Samaritans:

  • No bystander rushing to the rescue of an accident victim should be subject to civil or criminal liability and/or be forced to be a witness.
  • Any disclosure of personal information or offer to be a witness, in the event of the Good Samaritan also being an eyewitness to an accident, ought to be voluntary.
  • Further, the examination of such a volunteer as a witness shall be done only on a single occasion and without harassment or intimidation.
  • State governments may also institute a system of reward and compensation to encourage more bystanders to be Good Samaritans, and initiate action against officials or police personnel violating these guidelines.
  • Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, where he is expected to provide care, shall constitute professional misconduct...and disciplinary action.
  • Those making a phone call to inform the police or emergency services for the person lying injured on road should not be compelled to reveal name or personal details.

Analysis:

  • Most of people are unwilling to help victims, mainly because they are scared they will land in trouble or be harassed. In some cases, doctors also cite reasons behind the death of accident victim that if he or she could be admitted in hospital on time, his or her life could have been saved. In 2015, 8085 accidents had taken place in the capital.
  • Therefore, the new move will give bystanders incentive to help accident victims and more importantly also provide them with legal protection.
  • As per the Law Commission of India, 50% of those killed in road accidents could have been saved if they had received immediate assistance. A report by World Health Organisation (WHO) also claimed that “skilled and empowered bystanders play a crucial role in saving lives” and “in order to enable bystanders to come forward and help injured persons, a supportive legal and ethical environment is needed”.
  • About five lakh road accidents are reported in India annually with 1.5 lakh deaths, the highest in the world, and 4.5 lakh victims of road accidents happen to be in the age group of 15 to 45 years. Such kind of steps can help to reduce the numbers of causalities.
     

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