The Good Samaritan Law
Providing first aid in an emergency is very crucial. Certain injuries or illness may be life threatening if not provided with care in just a few minutes. However, there are certain restrictions that may cause the first aider to think twice in providing care in an emergency. Aside from the lack of knowledge... there is also the fear of getting sued.
Lets face it, nobody is obligated to provide care in an emergency when no legal duty exists... However, we do need to consider that providing care to someone most especially if there is a threat to life is very much satisfying and fulfilling.
Once you provide care, there is already the risk of getting sued. However there is a law that provides protection to that person.
The Good Samaritan Law - this law generally provides protection to off duty personnel providing first aid. But remember that there is no such thing as complete protection. So it is important that a person should know what they are.
The Good Samaritan Law applies when the rescuer is:
- acting in good faith
- acting in an emergency
- acting with no guilt or misconduct
- acting without compensation
So there you are. Remember this the moment you provide care. Also remember that there is no substitute to proper first aid training.
As you provide care, it is also important to obtain consent. Consent is necessary prior to providing care. Consent can be:
Expressed- this is usually when a person is conscious and is in the right age to decide. It can be given verbally or by gesture.
Implied Consent- this applies to any person that is unconscious, as well as to children and those who are mentally incompetent.
Lastly, do not forget that once you have provided care, do not leave the victim until help arrives or until another person capable of providing care has taken over. That person could be another first aider, a medical doctor, health care provider or the emergency medical services.
Laws vary from country to country and state to state
Please be advised that Law vary from country to country and state to state. In some cases, only the emergency care services personnel are allowed to provide care. It is very important to know and be aware of specific laws governing emergency care in your area.
It is also important to know the right first aid since doing the wrong thing may add more injury to the victim of accident. Find out more about first aid and learn how to provide. Who knows the life you save may be your own.