Shanghai drafts ‘good samaritan’ law

Shanghai, Sep 8 (IANS) Shanghai has drafted a bill to provide liability protection to volunteers with medical training to administer first aid, the media reported on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress has started the legislative process to regulate the city’s emergency health services. Under the new law, volunteers will not be held liable in emergency cases, the Global Times reported.

The bill defines “good samaritans” as those with medical skills and possessing a professional medical certificate.

An online poll showed that around 92 percent of Shanghai residents support the bill.

Cities like Hangzhou and Shenzhen have already introduced similar laws.

“We can only rely on some local government regulations to protect good samaritans,” Tan Qiugui, a law professor at Minzu University said.

“The law can change society’s attitude toward helping people in need, which will deter victims from making false accusations against those who offer help, and encourage more good samaritan behaviour in Chinese society,” Tan said.

However, Tan said laws alone are insufficient.

“Extortion cases have severely damaged trust between people, scaring would-be good samaritans. We need time to change social attitudes,” he added.

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