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Morals?: Provide assistance to another?

Posted on 2014-09-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-12-17

At what point, if any, should a citizen attempt to provide assistance to one in need?



Watch: Mom beaten as toddler tries to intervene; Salem police seek assailant
http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2014/06/mom_beaten_as_toddler_tries_to_intervene_salem_police_seek_assailant_video.html - By Bill Gallo Jr. | South Jersey Times - June 25, 2014
Catherine Ferreira
Question by:SunBow
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Rartemass earned 200 total points
ID: 40398184
When you can see that someone is in need, and you have the capability to aid them, you should do so.
It does depend on some common sense and what exactly their need is of course.
When it comes to financial issues the grey area is massive for the simple fact people will try to exploit your kindness. But if it comes to physical or mental abuse then the grey area becomes very slim very quickly.
I have an advantage in being tall, fit, strong and a martial arts instructor. This means in a physical altercation I can confidently intervene to defend myself and others. If I saw someone being attacked at the very least I'll distract the attacker with a loud enquiry ("What's the trouble here?"). Their reaction determines my next step. Many people when confronted alone will remove themselves from the area. If they are in a group the pack mentality will kick in. In these cases you need to give them an adrenaline dump before the actual conflict, so if it escalates they are already shaky from just standing around shouting before getting physical. I am confident I can handle a group of thugs with a few unexpected strikes against their most vocal and "toughest" members. Other people may not have that benefit but should still help where they can.
Even a distraction could be enough to save someone in need. If you can turn an attacker's focus of their victim and delay them long enough for the cops to arrive you have just rescued a victim. Obviously you need to protect yourself but anything you can do should be attempted.
How would you feel if you could intervene and didn't, and the victim was killed. Would that gnaw on your psyche? What if they were permanently disabled as a result, either physically or mentally?
Think of it from the other side. If you were a victim and saw someone in a position to help and they did nothing, and you were severely damaged, would you be pissed at that onlooker? Clearly the attacker is to blame and should be punished by law, but what of the onlooker that simply ignored the pleas for aid? While there may not be a criminal case, I would presume a civil law suit would be fairly easy to argue.
In my opinion simply calling the police is insufficient as they could take too long to arrive. I know of a few people that had their lives drastically changed after an assault. They all took blows to the head that resulted in internal bleeding and screwed with their faculties or paralysed them. The attacks against them lasted less than 1 minute. No police force in the world could arrive in that time to prevent the damage. Several citizens walking by could have intervened, but none did. They should be forever ashamed of themselves and shunned. I bet every one of those people that ignored pleas for aid would expect someone to come to their rescue if it happened to them, but they couldn't be bothered to interject on someone else's behalf.
LVL 24

Author Comment

ID: 40504604
Well said. Sorry I'd missed that earlier.
Abandoned (14 Days) - closing.
I had some other directions of interest to pursue here, (and less time) but they can be addressed separately for discussion.

Sample: Guy beating girl, onlooker pulls guy off and girl 'victim' turns & stabs the good Samaritan.
Sample: 'Good Samaritan' tries to aid person obviously hurt, is sued for injury or practicing medicine without licence.

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