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The Good Samaritan Law

Updated on July 20, 2016

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.


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    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi lifegate, thanks for dropping by and taking time to send this comment. It is an honor knowing you.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi PSO138,

      Glad to meet you via Jackie Lynnley's Hug of the day. Interesting article and you've given us much to consider. Thanks for the article and for all you do.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi ocfireflies, yes, that law would certainly not matter much when confronted with and injured person. What is important is providing help for that person to save a life. Thanks for the visit.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Interesting information. I believe if I saw someone who needed help, The Good Samaritan Law would most likely not even enter my mind.

      But as you point out, it is important for one to be aware of the existence of such law. Great hub.


    • profile image

      Rayne123 4 years ago

      HI JP

      This hub is very informative as are all your hubs. Its good to know these things and thank you for posting some help to all of us clueless out there.


    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Thank you for the comment. Law do vary from country to country and the good samaritan law is not applicable to all. Regardless, it is important to do the right procedure since the good samaritan law can only provide immunity when what is being performed is according to standards.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      I took CPR years ago and also worked with the volunteer fire department here locally. I served refreshments on a canteen truck at fires and other stiuations. When I took the CPR class, I remember they said that as a bystander, if we were to perform CPR on someone and we injured them, we could be sued. That may have changed, but that's the law here.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It is also important to know if the good samaritan law is in effect in the country where you are providing emergency care or first aid. In the Philippines there is no Good Samaritan Law.