Are "Duty to rescue" laws a good or bad thing?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by lostngone, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. lostngone macrumors 65816

    lostngone

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    #1
    Should the U.S. have more "Duty to rescue" type laws?

    For example: Lets say I am doing my job as a photographer and I stop when I see a car on fire to photograph it. Should I be legally obligated to help someone that is stuck in that car if they are yelling for help? Knowing that I could lose a shot of a lifetime if I even stop to call 911?
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #2
    How can you compel someone to act selflessly and heroically?

    By extension, could you hold somebody liable because they didn't rush a gunman?
     
  3. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #3
    The trial lawyers would say yes. The rest of us, I believe, I hope, would disagree.
     
  4. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Are you willing to put people in prison because they didn't help?
     
  5. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #5
    I think it depends on the callousness of the situation. You can't be compelled to put your life in danger, or try to do something you have no training or experience handling. If you were too scared to pull someone out of a burning vehicle, it shouldn't be held against you.

    But at the same time, if, say, someone is getting mugged and beaten to death, and you have a group of people standing around, doing nothing more than laughing about it, egging it on, and shooting videos of it to post on Facebook, they deserve a nice, big, legal slap to the back of the head.
     
  6. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    Why not ?

    Around here one can get up to 1 year if helping would have been within reason (read no immediate danger to oneself) and I really don't see where the problem is.
     
  7. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #7
    This is a very interesting discussion topic. Thank you OP for bringing it up. This could be a criminal and civil matter for someone that does not attempt to render aid. No doubt, if we are able, we should try and render aid when we encounter a situation but should we be required to put aside our own safety or the safety of our family?

    A few years ago, I pulled into a rest area where a minivan was on fire. A woman was screaming in a foreign language. The vehicle was full of smoke, the front was in full flames. A trucker and myself smashed the windows and got the back door open. No one was in the vehicle.

    Afterward, I thought about what would have happened to the two children in my car if that vehicle had exploded, killing or injuring me. I didn't think about it, I just did it. I wasn't required to do it. Could a law be passed that compels me to have to risk my life for others?
     
  8. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    @Southern Dad

    Noone compells you to run into a burning house, but not atleast dialing 911 should be considered a crime.

    Everything in between can be a grey area and judges should give you the benefit of doubt (within reason).
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #9
    The german law (Unterlassen Hilfeleistung) you are refering to only requires you to call for help.
    You do not have to pursue any further actions. You won't find this in the exact text of the law but it is established in precedent cases.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    Easy, by charging them with a crime if they do not
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #11
    Then they are not acting selflessly, but simply because they are afraid of punishment.
     
  12. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #12
    And why would that matter ?

    I'd say those needing to get help getting is the far higher value here.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #13
    -->
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    ... I am merely pointing out a common misuse of the term "selfless".
     
  14. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Since 2012 it's a general law around mainland Europe, that you help, you don't have to risk your life.(This can be just ringing 112)

    But doing absolutely nothing is not an option.
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Don't despair.

    Maybe you'll use it correctly the next time.
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #16
    This post doesn't make sense.
     
  17. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Which is fitting as I couldn't make sense of yours.
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #18
    . :d trying to make laughing face. :D
     
  19. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

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    #19
    you would hope people would help, but making a law requiring it would be ludicrous
     
  20. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #20
    In general English common law (upon which most US law is based) does not place any burden on bystanders to render any assistance.

    You could, quite literally, be an expert swimmer, with a speedboat, rope, and a case of life jackets - and you may calmly sit on shore smoking a cigarette and watch a little girl drown. You are not even legally obligated to call the lifeguard. (I do think once her body washes ashore on your property you are required to notify the authorities.)

    That sounds terribly gruesome. And in reality, very few - if any - people would actually behave that way.

    Why does English common law not have a "Duty to Rescue"? Part of the answer is that it is almost impossible to draft a law that is neither helplessly vague (what constitutes an emergency, or instance when someone needs help? I took a couple CPR classes, does that obligate me to help someone having any sort of seizure?) or risks unreasonably penalizing someone merely by dint of their occupation. (Does a physician have to drop everything he's doing, every time someone in the restaurant feels a little sick?)

    The best that we can do is pass "Good Samaritan" laws that protect those who do try to render aid from civil liability. I shouldn't be sued for cracking the ribs of the choking victim I perform the Heimlich Maneuver on.

    Realistically, I think thats about the best we can do.
     
  21. samiwas Suspended

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    #21
    Do I think there should be a law forcing you to go into a burning car to help? No.

    Would I think you were a complete ******* (censored...first letter of the alphabet, followed by the word "hole") if you said "Well, she was yelling for help, and I could have helped her, but I wanted to take pictures of the burning car instead." If you didn't help because you were frightened for your safety, that's one thing. If it's because you wanted a better picture, then you are a terrible person.
     
  22. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Notwithstanding mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse, but I know of a similar one in California that covers a reporting requirement for certain crimes where the victim is less than the age of 14. Otherwise, are there any laws in the U.S. as you describe it?
     
  23. jkcerda, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #23
  24. samiwas Suspended

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    #24
  25. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #25
    My lawn is covered in dead leaves right now, I would appreciate if it were gang raked right now. I don't care who watches or films it, as long as I don't have to pay.
     

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