Introduce a Good Samaritan Law in the Parliament
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A few months ago, 5 year old Om Gaikwad and his parents Aparna and Mangesh cried for over an hour, pleading bystanders for help, after being hit by a bus. The entire family, including 5 year old Om, died due to reluctance of bystanders to help them.
The Law Commission of India states that 50% of those who die on Indian roads can be saved if they receive timely medical attention including assistance from bystanders and passers-by. An astounding 70,000 lives can be saved every year.
But in India, most bystanders and passers-by choose to remain mute spectators due to prolonged legal hassles and severe inconvenience and intimidation at the hands of the legal system. Even medical professionals are not spared of such legal hassles and intimidation.
Even the Supreme Court of India has stated that, “Good Samaritans who come forward to help must be treated with respect and be assured that they will have to face no hassle”
This Law will protect and encourage Good Samaritans to help injured person on the road and will include:
1. Protection from legal hassles for Good Samaritans who help injured victims
2. Protection from legal hassles for Medical Professionals who immediately attend to the victim
3. Hassle-free procedures for investigation and evidence in police and Court
4. Strict disciplinary and departmental action against public officials who coerce or intimidate a Good Samaritan
5. Guidelines to all hospitals to treat trauma victims and not to detain those who bring the victims
6. A system for recognizing and celebrating those who save lives
Several countries around the world have laws to protect and reward Good Samaritans. India needs one urgently.
Join me in asking the Health Minister, Jagat Prakash Nadda, to ensure protection of Good Samaritans by introducing this law in the Parliament.
Piyush Tewari and SaveLIFE Foundation
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