Jul 11
4:30 PM

One City Responds to the Need for Good Samaritan Laws in China

According to China
, the city of Shenzhen in southern China has approved a regulation
that protects good Samaritans from being falsely accused of wrongdoing.  The regulation assigns the burden of proof to
the claimant and calls for punishment of anyone making false accusations.

For many years, China has notoriously lacked any sort of national
Good Samaritan law that would protect people who intervene in accidents and
other emergencies.  For example, in a recent
out of Sichuan Province, two young men agreed to pay 50,000 Yuan ($8,150)
after they failed in their attempts to rescue two friends from drowning.  Such payments are relatively common in China,
where rescuers (or attempted rescuers) may be held liable for a person’s injury
or death if they intervene; those who ignore others in danger, however, are not
at risk of liability.  This distinction
has resulted in a societal tendency to avoid assisting in emergency situations,
out of fear of being held responsible for monetary or other damages.

While the regulation in Shenzhen will be limited in
applicability to the city itself, it may be a sign of change to come throughout
China.  People have been advocating for
Good Samaritan laws for many years, and this new regulation (set to take effect
August 1, 2013) is viewed as a positive step in that direction. [REG]