Duty to Render Aid in Alabama
Duty to Render Aid in Alabama
Why this petition matters
Rendering aid to people in need is an issue most don’t see until there’s a horrible situation that occurs. These situations can be prevented by having a “Render to Aid” law in Alabama.
We are living in a world where morals no more exist. One day it will be us or someone we love in need of assistance. If a bill were to be passed requiring people to render aid, so many lives could be changed or saved. Currently, if a person were to witness a drowning there is nothing requiring them to assist. Most people would call 911 at the very least, others would jump in, throw a life saving device or anything the person could hold on to. What about those who don’t? Here’s a few examples of when the render aid law would help:
Scenario 1: You’re fishing at your local lake. Someone a few yards away falls in the lake. You take out your phone and start recording. You have the footage of the person drowning. You post it on social media and gets millions of views. You had no legal obligation to assist this person so no legal charges arose.
Scenario 2: Your sister is an addict. She goes to a party and passes out after using. Her friends put her in her car and drive her to another location. A lady on her morning walk sees the car and looks inside. Your sister is not responsive. She dies from an overdose. Nothing happens to her friends as they had no legal obligation to call for help.
Scenario 3: Your cousin is supposed to be taking care of your grandmother who's 55 years old. She's recovering from a stroke and needs assistance with every day life. The cousin has not been feeding, bathing, changing or caring for her. You've tried getting in touch with the cousin and your grandmother. You decide to send someone over to check. They find your grandmother in the floor in urine and feces. She'd been there several days. She dies soon after she gets to the hospital. Nothing can be done because grandma was under 60 and the cousin had no legal obligation to care for her nor call for help.
All the scenarios could have ended differently. These people responsible will never be held accountable for their actions without a duty to render aid law.
Currently only 10 states in the US have some type of duty to render aid laws. Some of which are specific to careers, (i.e. law enforcement, emergency medical services, Doctors, nurses) vehicle accidents, crimes or under age of 14 victims. (California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Washington) I’d like to propose a render to aid law that covers a wider range of individuals required to report or render aid.
There are two states that have render aid laws that specify grave injury in general:
Minnesota, A person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person is exposed to or has suffered grave physical harm shall, to the extent the person can do without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the expose person. Reasonable assistance may include obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from law enforcement or medical personnel. A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
Vermont, A person who knows that another is exposed to grave physical harm shall, to the extent that the same can be rendered without danger or peril to himself or herself or without interference with important duties owned to others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person unless that assistance or care is being provided by others.
I believe a law like the two above would help a great deal of people. There have been several stories in recent news regarding people being neglected. A lot of those responsible will never be held accountable because of the lack of a law such as Render to Aid. Per Alabama Adult Protective Services there were more than 11,280 reports of adult abuse reports in 2021 of those 1,710 were prevented. 67% of those were categorized as neglect. Statistics say for each case that is reported, another twenty-three go unknown. Imagine how many could be prevented if people were required to render aid.
Officers, social services, emergency medical services and anyone in the public service community has some type of story of a person could have benefited from a render to aid law. Something needs to be done to hold these people accountable. Without a law such as render to aid; these people cannot be prosecuted for their inaction. All states have a Good Samaritan law that covers people who choose to render aid. Too many lives have been taken too soon. It’s time to make a change and I’d love to be a part of that change.
I’ve nicknamed this Harold’s law in honor of my Dad, Harold Jones, who was a victim of elder abuse.
Here's a rough draft of what I'd like to propose.
A person who knows that another person, who is indispose, is exposed to or has suffered grave harm shall, to the extent the person can do without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person unless that assistance or care is being provided by others. Reasonable assistance may include obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from law enforcement or medical personnel.
CALLING 911 IS Rendering Aid! We need to take action and save lives.
Speak up! BE the change!