According to China Daily, the city of Shenzhen in southern China has approved a regulation that protects good Samaritans from being falsely accused of wrongdoing. The regulation assigns the burden of proof to the claimant and calls for punishment of anyone making false accusations.
For many years, China has notoriously lacked any sort of national Good Samaritan law that would protect people who intervene in accidents and other emergencies. For example, in a recent case out of Sichuan Province, two young men agreed to pay 50,000 Yuan ($8,150) after they failed in their attempts to rescue two friends from drowning. Such payments are relatively common in China, where rescuers (or attempted rescuers) may be held liable for a person’s injury or death if they intervene; those who ignore others in danger, however, are not at risk of liability. This distinction has resulted in a societal tendency to avoid assisting in emergency situations, out of fear of being held responsible for monetary or other damages.
While the regulation in Shenzhen will be limited in applicability to the city itself, it may be a sign of change to come throughout China. People have been advocating for Good Samaritan laws for many years, and this new regulation (set to take effect August 1, 2013) is viewed as a positive step in that direction. [REG]