Good Samaritan Laws

Chapter 12: Good Samaritan laws in the United States and some places in Canada protect from blame those people who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. Such laws are intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist other people should they fear being prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death (after all, helping others might get you hurt in some cases). Yet other countries (including the Canadian province of Quebec and countries such as Israel, Italy, Japan, France, Belgium, Andorra, Germany, and Spain) go even further, making it a legal requirement for citizens to assist people in distress, unless doing so would put themselves in harm’s way. Citizens are required to, at minimum, call the local emergency number (unless doing so would be harmful, in which case, the authorities should be contacted when the harmful situation has been removed). Relying on your helping chapter;

1. Discuss why requiring a potential helper to provide aid is a good or bad idea. That is, with your group, try to decide if it would be a good decision to require people to help others in the United States.

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2. Are there situations where you think helping should (or should not) be legally required? If so, describe them in light of what we know about the five steps of helpi

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