Duty to render aid?

This is a discussion on Duty to render aid? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You've just used your firearm in self defense and neutralized the threat. The attacker is incapacitated, obviously injured, but alive nonetheless. The area is secure, ...

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Thread: Duty to render aid?

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    Member Array abigno99's Avatar
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    Duty to render aid?

    You've just used your firearm in self defense and neutralized the threat. The attacker is incapacitated, obviously injured, but alive nonetheless. The area is secure, police and EMS are enroute, but in the mean time, do you render aid?

    To preface, I am a paramedic and MD student. On a legal note, there is no duty to act in VA and thus no legal requirement to render aid as far as I can tell. Contrast with MI, where apparently there is a duty to render aid.

    On a more practical note, would rendering aid help (or vice versa, not rendering air hurt) in potential court hearings? I can just see a prosecutor explaining how horrible of a person I am for having the knowledge and ability to help, and not doing so.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Whoa, tough quiz there Doc. That pulls legal, moral, ethical & religious questions into play. Sitting here on my patio, I'd LIKE to think that I would selflessly & immediately render aid. But in real-world survival mode, something in the blackest part of my pirate heart begs the question - "Was this guy concerned about MY well-being as he planned his felonious assault that got him shot?!?".
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Yes, I would render aid as long as the threat is gone. That is why we say we stop the threat. Once the threat is stopped, I feel it is morally right to administer aid.
    I don't give a hoot about anybody's perception at the time.
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Whoa, tough quiz there Doc. That pulls legal, moral, ethical & religious questions into play. Sitting here on my patio, I'd LIKE to think that I would selflessly & immediately render aid. But in real-world survival mode, something in the blackest part of my pirate heart begs the question - "Was this guy concerned about MY well-being as he planned his felonious assault that got him shot?!?".
    A good point.... To me, the purpose of self defense is to end and/or neutralize a threat. If I am required to discharge my weapon and shoot a BG, and the threat ceases, mission accomplished. If the BG is still alive and is NOT a threat, then I would render aid as necessary, to the best of my ability. I do not have a want to kill anyone, and that extends to the BG after he is down. With that, I would not put myself in immediate danger to do so... IE: the BG falls and his weapon is within reach. I may attempt to tacticAlly remove the weapon from his area , but no promises. My concern would be the lagal implication of rendering aid Layer: " MR. so and so, you felt in direct danger to the extent you felt it necessary to shoot my client, MR. Scumwad, yet you did not feel that danger was enough to keep you from provoding medical aid.... so how did you feel in jeopordy to begin with ????" Yes it is stretching it, but worse has happened in a court room, to myself included as an LEO. A defense attroneys job is to keep his client in jail for as short amount of time as possible, not follow right or wrong.
    They will take every opportunity to discredit you, even if you perform an act in good faith.

    I think this is strictly a personal choice that each must answer to themselves. As far as the implications of being a medical profesasional, I do not have an answer. That is def a tough call.
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    If it is safe, necessary and prudent to do so, yes, I will render aid.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    If the BG had no ability to cause any further harm, then yes, I would render aid.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    I don't believe that I would. The chances are that I shot him due to a threat to me or mine. That being the case and he isn't DOA, if I can reach him with my hands, he can reach me with his and chances are that I'll still have a weapon on me somewhere. No thanks. I'll let the pros handle the situation and be thankful that I was able to defend against it. And if said assailant does survive, he can rest assured that I will be pressing charges.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    If it is safe, necessary and prudent to do so, yes, I will render aid.
    +1. I said this on a thread a while back and got sort of attacked about how you can never be 100% sure it was "safe", what with the chance of an accomplice or the bad guy just pretending to be out of the fight (and one "What about AIDS?" comment). Now while all of that is a possibility, I would feel duty-bound to administer aid so long as I felt the threat was over and my family and I were safe.

    FWIW, this is very different from the "Should we make sure they can't testify" thread that never happened...
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    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    I may throw him a towel to stop the bleeding, however, not come close enough to be grabbed by him.

    As far as I know, there is no DUTY imposed, at least in Florida state statutes.

    This would be a strictly on-scene call.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    You've just used your firearm in self defense and neutralized the threat. The attacker is incapacitated, obviously injured, but alive nonetheless. The area is secure, police and EMS are enroute, but in the mean time, do you render aid?
    Absolutely not. Not ever, IMO. But that's just me.

    Think hard on the question, 'cause it might well be the last thing you ever do, by approaching closely enough to allow the violent felon to finish the job he started.

    I'm all for him surviving, if he's able to do so, I suppose. That's fine, if the gods decide that's the outcome. Not my call. But it seems clear, to me at least, that to approach a deadly violent assailant while he's still capable of harming me is the epitome of stupidity. Particularly when I have no specialized EMT-type training beyond the basics of first-aid and CPR. I'm simply not qualified to be rendering medical attention of the sort that deadly-serious wounds would require. If he expires, that's up to the gods and the result of his own actions. Not mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    To preface, I am a paramedic and MD student.
    Well, now, in such a situation, you might well find yourself called to a "higher" purpose. But the reality still exists. Think of it from the perspective of the deadly assailant, who's almost surely still got the desire to kill you in his head. You then approach, and he doesn't know you've got specialized training that might well save his sorry butt from the Void. If that's your thing, great.

    In some states, there's a duty to render aid in the statutes. Wouldn't surprise me if there were at least a couple states that required special consideration in the case of a medical/EMT type person like yourself who is in such a situation.

    But that's not me, nor my background. Nor is it my desire to get anywhere near such a person. Sux to be him, sadly. But that's his problem. Not mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    On a more practical note, would rendering aid help (or vice versa, not rendering air hurt) in potential court hearings? I can just see a prosecutor explaining how horrible of a person I am for having the knowledge and ability to help, and not doing so.
    In a state that specifically requires the rendering of aid even to felonious deadly assailants? Well, that's a pickle. For my part, I'm not going anywhere near him. The DA and others can pound sand. I'm simply not qualified and would do zero good, for wounds tied to my use of deadly force.

    Myself not having any such background, knowledge or training related to medically saving lives, I can clearly articulate the lack of skills and experience to do any good whatsoever. And, I can clearly articulate the absolute dire threat I still reasonably (and, IMO, justifiably) feel with respect to the felon at my feet. I'm good with that, irrespective of how a headstrong prosecutor or other attorney (ie, in civil court) might otherwise portray such a decision by me.

    You (or anyone else) with your specialized knowledge and training, though? YMMV. Up to you, at least in states that don't forcibly demand (statutorily) that you render aid. That's the beauty of being a citizen and being fully authorized as such to make such a judgment call. If it came to a jury trial, I believe most citizens would agree with the unreasonableness of a medically-unqualified person coming anywhere near someone who moments before tried to murder that person. I'm willing to stand on that point, myself.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; June 10th, 2013 at 06:14 PM.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    I do not have a want to kill anyone, and that extends to the BG after he is down.
    Agree totally, I'm not talking about "finishing him off", I'm talking about CPR. What if I have no latex gloves with which to dive elbow-deep into compressing a spewing artery? Am I supposed to have zero concern for my own protection against Hep C, HIV, etc.? What if my attempts at first aid fail & my assailant dies? Am I then liable for "bad" assistance? If LE & EMS are enroute, how far away are they? Do I keep my pistol trained on him? The OP says he's down, but NOT out. Hell, I hope NOBODY here WANTS to shoot anyone. Yet, if the perp has reached my threshold for reasonable fear of grave injury/death to justify me shooting him, does "reasonable fear" simply vanish into Mother Teresa-mode when he hits the ground? I'm not sure what the wise move is & if my emotions could reverse that rapidly.
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    Member Array linuss's Avatar
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    As a Paramedic that's run my fair share of GSWs, I am fully capable, but most likely would not.

    I don't have any equipment, and putting a bandaid on a bullet wound does nothing, they need a surgeon, of which I am not. They lay there until EMS is cleared in, then they get a diesel bolus to the ED.
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    Member Array Strmwatch's Avatar
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    If I ever had to use my firearm in self defense, I would NOT render aid.

    Do you think if the BG got the drop on you, he/she would render aid to you if you're laying on the ground bleeding out? No way, they're going to rob you, and run off and look for their next victim.

    I'd rather they expire on the street so they can't hurt another soul.
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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    Think of this from a tactical point of view. You have just used your weapon against an attacker (someone intent on doing you harm). You have called for police and ambulance. The immediate threat is over and you want to render aid. Absolutely no way for me. Why would I get close to a person intent on doing me or mine harm. Sure their weapon may be out of service but mine isn't. Why would I get close enough to risk a gun grab. Getting close to a suspect is the most dangerous thing a police officer can do and they are trained to deal with a suspect. Wait for police to get there before rendering aid. That way if the suspect gets froggy the police can step in and do what needs to be done.
    Last edited by Black Knight; June 10th, 2013 at 09:48 PM.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Just so I have this straight. I just defended myself against an attack that caused me to shoot someone. The next question is. Am I going to render aid to the person that was trying to do me or my family harm.. NO
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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