September 5th, 2009 12:14 PM
Good Samaritan Law and Duty to Rescue
**Some information taken from Wiki**
During our company safety meeting yesterday, we discussed the legalities of the Good Samaritan Law and how it affects our daily work. Utah has just passed the Good Samaritan Law that basically states that you cannot be held responsible and are protected from liability those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. They are intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. We were encouraged to help a person in distress if so confronted but in Utah, there is no "Duty to Rescue".
This brings up my next point ...
"Duty to Rescue"
In the common law of the United States, there is no general duty to come to the rescue of another. Generally, a person cannot be held liable for doing nothing while another person is in peril. Where a duty to rescue arises, the rescuer must generally act with reasonable care, and can be held liable for injuries caused by a reckless rescue attempt. However, many states have limited or removed liability from rescuers in such circumstances, particularly where the rescuer is an emergency worker. Furthermore, the rescuer need not endanger himself in conducting the rescue.
However, contrary to common law, eight states have laws requiring people to help strangers in peril: Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
You have just been involved in a self defense shooting. If you live in one of the 8 states listed above, do you render aid to the person you just shot? Due to the circumstances, are you protected under the Good Samaritan law if applicable in your state?
This post was designed as "food for thought". We always discuss scenarios and what to do afterwards. When I applied this to a self defense situation, I was somewhat confused as to the next step after calling 911. It would be extremely difficult to render aid to somebody who just committed a violent crime against myself or my family and I used deadly force to stop the threat.
Interested in hearing your responses.
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981
September 5th, 2009 12:27 PM
Regardless of any written law, I would be hard pressed to become “hard pressed” to save anyone. Personally, I think it would be very difficult for any court or jury to determine if my involvement or non-involvement in a shooting would, or would not have been prudent without compromising my own life, or that of a third party.
“Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
~ Stephen King
September 5th, 2009 12:29 PM
I do not believe that one would have the duty to rescue...but there is plenty of room for a prosecutor to decide to press the case. 1. the shooter is likely not in a state of mind to provide adequate care. 2. until the scene is secured by PD, your job is to stay alive...the means maintaining situational awareness and even after 6 yrs of EMS, I always had a very difficult time maintaing SA on any scene wher the patient was in seriously injured. One can focus on patient care OR SA, but cannot do both well.
September 5th, 2009 12:47 PM
if there was a case of having to shoot someone, I would be in no state to help apply firstaid. Too distracted looking out for the welfare of my family.
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
There are always too many Democratic, Republican and never enough U.S. congressmen.
September 5th, 2009 01:09 PM
This is not meant to be mean but hopefully I have done my job and first aid is a mute point. But I would not help the person if I just injured them.
September 5th, 2009 01:17 PM
This actually goes to the same reason I would not use Handcuffs, Even if he has been shot he will still be dangerous. Unless he is dead or unconscious he is Still a threat, Wrestling for my gun/Small BUG/Knife/Pepper. I will stay out of reach and cover him. Anyone approching him is a potential hostage and in MY field of fire. IF he survives multiple shots in the chest I will wait for police to arrive, take control of him, and get the Ambulance guys in there.
I am actually curious from BikerRN or someone what is the procedure if a BG is still fighting after he has been shot, do the police cuff him and then call you in, or do you make the decision. Even if you do not have a gun you have assorted knives in your bag as well as what ever is on him for him to use.
Online Sunshine (FL Gov Website is down till Tuesday or I would post the actual Statute.)
Florida Statutes 316.062
IANAL but it only appears to apply to Vehicle Accidents
316.062 Duty to give information and render aid.
(1) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license or permit to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and shall give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash and shall render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.
(2) In the event none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under subsection (1), and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such crash, after fulfilling all other requirements of s. 316.027 and subsection (1), insofar as possible on his or her part to be performed, shall forthwith report the crash to the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority and submit thereto the information specified in subsection (1).
(3) The statutory duty of a person to make a report or give information to a law enforcement officer making a written report relating to a crash shall not be construed as extending to information which would violate the privilege of such person against self-incrimination.
(4) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
September 5th, 2009 01:58 PM
procedure is to stage nearby and wait for PD to secure the scene, and that is how the call comes across. I suppose I shouldn't assume it is the same everywhere, but that's how it goes in my area. If you are already on a scene and it becomes unsafe, find a way to get to your rig and wait for PD to come and secure the scene. Unless flagged down while driving, dispatch would never clear you to get enter a scene of a shooting/stabbing until PD has done their thing. The hard part is when people find you and are begging you to go help, and you don't know if the shot person is the victim or the scumbag...you want to help and sometimes the crew decides to against protocol. I've done it and one time my partner and I found ourselves in a very vulnerable and dangerous place. We cannot credit good decision making with the fact that we are alive today.
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
September 5th, 2009 02:10 PM
You've raised a moral question for me. I don't know that I could/would change modes quickly enough from defense to sympathy. I have a tendency to jump in and help anyone in trouble but don't know if/when it would kick in. This will be something I'll think about a lot for quite a while. Thanks for the post.
September 5th, 2009 02:16 PM
In our county medics will stage until we ( police) declare the scene safe. We will do whatever is required to clear the scene and neutralize the threat. The last thing we want is for medics to have to worry about their safety. Medics have enough to deal with once they enter the scene.
Off duty if I was involved. I would call 911 and have them send an ambulance and police. I would give them a detailed description of myself and what I am wearing. I would give a detailed description of the bad guy and what he or she is wearing ( In case he gets up and flees the scene). I would stay on the line until police arrived. I would not approach the wounded. I would keep a safe distance and continue to scan the area for other suspects as well as keeping cover on the wounded person. I would mentally prepare myself to be taken down at gunpoint and handcuffed once the police arrive.
September 5th, 2009 02:44 PM
Most Good Samaritan laws also consider the condition and prior training of the person who is in the position of giving aid. If you are the one who shot a person, you would most likely be found to have met your Good Samaritan requirements by calling 911. You condition after a shooting would be questionable at best.
Most concealed carriers are not trained in disarming a downed shooter. Why approach someone who could still pose a threat? Even LEO don't take that lightly.
September 5th, 2009 02:46 PM
Off Duty: I will not be approaching anyone that has put me in fear of my life.
On Duty: I have been involved in "Use of Force" and then after the scene is secured had to treat those whom I have had to take action against.
Let's make this real basic. I have no duty to do anything for you when I am not working, and I most likely won't, beyond calling for police and an ambulance. On Duty, I will make the scene secure first, restrain who needs to be restrained and then "switch roles" so to speak and go into the medical role.
Safety is first, and I very well cannot safely assess an individual that may or may not be wounded, dead or unconcious when I am off duty. Putting restraints on the individual in question requires moving in close to them. Nope, not happening.
On Duty, I am not alone and have the tools I need to properly perform the duties I need to perform, as well as the assistance of other on duty personnel.
My life and the lives of my co-workers, innocent individuals, and family are far higher on my importance scale than the piece of human fecal matter that created the situation. Let the chips fall where they may. I will do what I can to save a life of a criminal, because it is my job, but I really don't care if a criminal lives or dies so long as I do everything I know how to do, properly and follow the established procedures set forth by agency policy.
People like to wax eloquence that human life is precious. Yes, mine is, and that of others. If you put yourself in a bad situation by committing criminal acts of violence against others I don't have much sympathy for you and you have negated the preciousness of your own life by your own actions.
To some I may appear cold and callous. I don't much care, as I reserve my feelings for those whom I consider worthy of my concern.
September 5th, 2009 03:05 PM
Well said Biker
September 5th, 2009 03:15 PM
Very succinct and well presented.
I will add, that if I shoot someone, the extent of my help is to request an ambulance when I call 911 to report the shooting.
To approach a wounded BG who just moments ago threatened your life to such a degree as to warrant you shooting him is still an extreme danger to you as long as he remains conscious! And I am not about to find out if he's playing possum.
To specifically request an ambulance when you call 911 will show your attempt to get aid to the wounded party as quickly as possible.
Anything that arises out of any so called "duty to rescue" laws, I am confident I can articulate in court that the threat was not over and I would be in extreme danger had I attempted to do anything further.
This is still the United States of America and not Great Britain for crying out loud!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
September 5th, 2009 03:42 PM
No. Your primary function as a GS would be to ensure that the BG is indeed no longer a threat, either dead or wounded and his gun or other deadly weapon is no longer within his or her reach.
Originally Posted by Rcher
Your second function would be to inquire if someone has dialed 9-1-1, and if not, pull your cell and dial as you move to function three;
Your third function would be to ensure that all other bystanders are not injured, and if they are, they would be first in line for any medical attention.
If no other injuries, your next function would be to secure the area, be sure that witnesses don't leave, and watch the perimeter in case the BG had a buddy with him.
I would say then another healthy dose of "are you sure everyone is okay? " Check each bystander personally, secure the scene.
By then LE will be there, and the scene belongs to them, you just sit and wait to give your version of the facts.
I wouldn't help the wounded BG, besides, it's horrific to take another persons life, even justified, I would think your own heart rate, stress level and anxiety would be at an all time high, and you would need to sit and maybe get a cold compress for fear of hear attack or worse. "My chest hurts a little" would be my first words to LE.
I'm an artist, and if you give me a tuba I'll bring something out of it.
- John Lennon
September 5th, 2009 04:24 PM
So, just to boil down the scenario:
You shoot someone in self-defense. Must you then render first-aid to the person you shot? If you decide to render first-aid, can you be held liable if you accidentally hurt them while helping them?
Um. Ok. My question would be that if you are now rendering first-aid and they attack you again, and you shoot them again, do you have to render first-aid again, knowing that the last time they tried to re-attack you? How many times would you be required by law to go through this cycle? Until you or your attacker are dead? At what point does your right to self-defense include not going anywhere near someone who tried to harm you?
Additionally, if you are stupid enough to render first-aid (for a number of reasons which any potential future legal defense requires I not mention) and you are re-attacked and wounded, do you suppose that your attacker will be charged with failing to come to your aid after wounding you?
Then, will passersby be charged for not coming to the aid of two people who are alternately shooting and resuscitating each other? I can envision a scenario whereby the entire population of a town would become involved in an altercation if the citizenry actually believed in a fictional "duty to rescue". Additionally, this would mean that, in order to "rescue" the injured party, passersby would likely have to attack the person who was defending himself! Does the duty to rescue only apply to demonstrably innocent parties?
This are questions that the writers of these laws clearly never considered. Yeesh.
By BenGoodLuck in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: April 20th, 2010, 08:36 PM
By obxned in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: February 14th, 2009, 11:16 AM
By Gun Bunny in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: July 6th, 2008, 11:17 PM
By CT-Mike in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: February 17th, 2008, 01:31 AM
By CT-Mike in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: January 13th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Search tags for this page
does utah have a good samaritan law
good samaritan law in utah
good samaritan law nc
good samaritan law north carolina
good samaritan law utah
michigan duty to rescue
nc good samaritan law
north carolina duty to rescue law
utah good samaritan law
what did the common law consider a bystander's duty to come to the aid of a person in need?
what did the common law consider a bystander?s duty to come to the aid of a person in need
what did the common law consider a bystander?s duty to come to the aid of a person in need?
Click on a term to search for related topics.
» DefensiveCarry Sponsors