EMERGENCY SITUATIONS – THE GOOD SAMARITAN PRINCIPLES

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If you are passing by and see an emergency situation and want to help, you don’t have a legal duty to help that person.  But, if you decide to help a person in need, the Good Samaritan Principles must be followed.

The principles protect you if you choose to assist a person in need.  Once you begin to give assistance, you are obliged to use reasonable skill and care based on your level of training.

You are a Good Samaritan if you help a person when you have no legal duty to do so.  As a Good Samaritan you give your help without being paid, and you give it in good faith.  Whenever you help a person in an emergency situation, you should abide by the following principles:

Eight Good Samaritan Principles you must follow

  1. Identify yourself as a first aider so the person feels comfortable that you know what you are doing.
  2. Get permission to help him before you touch him. Everyone has the right not to be touched by another person as recognised by the law.  As a first aider, you must respect this right.  Ask if you can help!  If he answers yes, you have consent to help him.  If he does not answer you or does not object to your help, you have what is called implied consent.
  3. If he’s unresponsive and relatives are present, ask for consent from the injured person’s relatives. If no relatives are available, you have implied consent to carry on and give first aid.
  4. A person has the right to refuse help and not give you consent to go ahead and assist him. In this case, do not force first aid on a conscious injured person.
  5. Use your reasonable skill and care according to the level of training you have. When in question, care that is given will be measured against what a reasonable person with the same level of knowledge and skill would do.
  6. Give first aid with caution so you don’t aggravate injury. Make sure you only do what you know you can do, and that all your actions help the injured person in some way.
  7. Do not be negligent in what you do. When you give first aid, make sure your actions are in the injured person’s best interest.  Give the care you would like to receive if you were in the injured’s position.
  8. Do not abandon the injured person. Once he accepts your offer to assist him, do not leave him.  Stay with the him until;
    • You hand him over to medical help
    • You hand him over to another first aider; or
    • He no longer wants or needs your help
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