Good Samaritan

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    Here in Arizona we have a Good Samaritan Law that protects you if you help someone that is hurt. i.e. You do CPR on a drowning victim and brake a rib. This law prohibits the victim from suing the *Good Samaritan* for damages.

    However, as physicans, or medical professional, etc. you are considered an expert and could be considered liable. Do you feel this hinders you from giving aid? Or are you going to help, because that is just who you are? As physicans or medical students, do you hide your profession to avoid giving advice…for fear of liabilty? Do you feel that the threat of a lawsuit hinders you from doing what you originally got into medicine for…to heal?


    Absolutely it would hinder me from helping!! I (probably) would not help a stranger…but I may if it involves a child or the people seems like they wouldn’t sue me (but I don’t know how I would make that determination by just looking at them) 🙂

    I kinda say this over and over again. We, doctors, have our lives too. And I will not give up my life…or sell out my family…in the name of “honor” to medicine…or some absurd sense of responsibilty to my *job.* I don’t see any other (equally important) members of society jeopardizing themselves (as a profession) to “help” people at the expense of their own well-being…and turn around and get sued if your “help” doesn’t result in the optimal outcome. The “best that I can do” and my “good will” won’t keep me out of court and practicing medicine for very long…if I’m not careful. And being careful involves *not* practicing “high risk” medicine. And helping a stranger in their time of need…only to be sued when you crack a rib during CPR…is high risk to me. Perhaps as a society we should value the skills of our physicians more…and protect them better from having their lives destroyed by stupid lawsuits.


    Here in Poland you can be sued if you DO NOT stay and help, even if you are a layperson. You practically CANNOT be sued if you stay and try to help, whatever the outcome. Of course it is different when you have been summoned i.e. if you are in an emergency team. When I was a medical student we have all been told repeatedly “remember the worst thing you can do is just walk away.” I have helped people in the street many times (though never with CPR). From what I have learned about the US system I think I would be afraid to work in the US even though I really envy you your residency model! :yes: It seems helping a person in the steet can be a heroic decision which can shatter your life. 🙁

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