Can You Be Liable for Intentionally Not Helping in a Crash?

Bit of an odd hypothetical question, but I'm curious.

Let's say you're driving and you've got some d**khead driving aggressively behind you and then he switches lanes and comes up next to you with the windows down, sticking the finger and yelling abuse and what not, but you don't really give a crap since you're in the left lane doing the limit, if not a tad bit over. And then he changes lanes again so he's in front of you and tries to brake and then speeds up again. The other car is loud as hell. Now everything goes back to normal, however, 500m later the other driver completely loses control and drives right into a tree and the car is completely wrecked. You slow down and have a good look, but since the other driver is probably some scumbag that's high on drugs and has probably never really worked a day in his life, you intentionally drive on because you believe that him dying is a win for society, and you don't believe this is a life worth saving. You've also worked hard all day and cannot wait to get home to watch the footy. You don't stop to help and you don't call the ambulance or police, you don't give a crap at all. Even once you've arrived home, you still don't call for assistance.

Hypothetically, let's say the other person is now dead, or has lost both their legs. Would you have any sort of criminal liability? I would assume that there'd be none whatsoever since you didn't do anything wrong but just wondering.

Comments

  • Lol. Who did you run over??

    Maybe try calling the cops or get a lawyer.

  • I would have wound the windows down while driving past, and then pointed and laughed.

  • Not a lawyer, but as far as I know I don't think you "have" to help, in many countries you wouldn't want to help either, for example say the person was in a crash. You get worried so you drag the guy out of the car, due to the crash his spine is in a bad way, you helping could legitimately disable the person in which you could get in trouble for. Though I have heard of a "good Samaritan law" in Aus that apparently helps you in some of these situations (for example lets say you perform the heimlech maneuovr on a person and accidentally crack their ribs, I think it would help make you not liable?).

    In saying that, I imagine the police would be a bit skeptical if you didn't stop, worse yet is if the person tried to blame you for the damage saying you just "drove off" so I think there may be some aspect of your best interest to stay?

    • +43 votes

      Nobody has ever been held liable for attempting to help someone in an emergency and inadvertently causing some damage in this country.

      • Yeah unless you do something with great disregard for their safety, you're not going to get sued (and if you do, they won't win).

        Eg. if you have done a first aid course, you can ALWAYS help, so long as you don't do anything you're not supposed to do and keep it simple, you will not get in trouble.

        • (for example lets say you perform the heimlech maneuovr on a person and accidentally crack their ribs, I think it would help make you not liable?).

          My last First Aid trainers said you're bound to break some ribs doing proper CPR.. and not liable.

          • @queer dog geyfrog: Yeah if someone isn't responsive and not breathing, a few broken ribs is a small price to pay to have the ability to even think about seeing someone who tried to save your life

          • @queer dog geyfrog: I've only had to do CPR for real once, and I was surprised how similar to the doll it was in real life. I didn't break any ribs, and the ambulance guys were happy for me to continue and swap with them when tired as they worked on the patient, so I must have been doing it right. Unfortunately, the patient didn't make it.

      • The law is that you did as any average person with your skills and abilities could be expected to do on the circumstances, you cannot be found negligent. So a Doctor or nurse is held to a higher standard than an untrained passerby. That being said, if you do something that causes them harm and that harm should have been anticipated then you can be held accountable.

      • I think the precedent was set early on thank god. From memory when training as a life guard if you intervene/help initially then leave you'll be in trouble, otherwise i don't think you're culpable. Same with if you act outside your training, say if you're a trained lifeguard and fail to support the spine causing damage then you're potentially liable. Similarly if you're a trained doctor.

        Although there was that numpty who was pulled over by police, truck plowed into the police and he ran (wasnt liable for the crash though). Cant remember what he got done for

        thankfully we're not as bad as america (yet) where the lawyers/leaches jump on everything. The day we're too scared to help someone because we're worried about the ramifications will be a sad day indeed.

        • He got done for yelling at the dying policemen and leaving them to die before speeding off (full footage was recovered from one of the senior officer's body cam).

          He was done done for drug abuse and speeding (I think he was doing 140+km before he got pulled over) and his whole family publicly disowned him.

      • Although, from what I understand, once you start helping you're required to continue helping until the situation is stable or someone else takes over from you. This was what I was always told during first aid courses.

        • Or if you're in an unsafe situation or unable (physically or mentally) to continue.

        • This is the scary bit. What if you want to help, but oh shit you can't handle it as he bleeds all over you?

          • @furyou: Its as Apoca89 said above, until you're physically or mentally unable to continue.

            It comes down to your statement after it - If your line is 'he bleed all over me and I panicked' you aren't liable because you stopped, but if you said 'I started CPR but then recognised them from OzBargain, so just left' then you would be (assuming you're first aid trained).

            Its all to do with expectations based on experience and expertise.

            • @futureminime: its common sense law. The fact that people even consider legal ramifications in these situations is probably due to american media

              • @creamandpaper: Well yes and no. I think the US litigation culture doesn't help, but also that people are scared by a scary situation they don't have any experience in. I know I would be, and I don't want to do anything wrong. People are going into a situation which they know must be a bit chaotic if they need to render help, but it is a stressful and sometimes dangerous thing. I'd be afraid I'd make mistakes and someone could get permanently hurt or die. I'd feel guilty and therefore think someone may want to blame me and the law is often the vehicle for that.

                I've been taking first aid courses for about 15 years now and never had to use the skills in an emergency, and not confident I'd do a great job of it if I have to. That wouldn't stop me if I thought I was the best option at the time. I think it would help if people also knew that for many people their best contribution will be logistics (calling ambulances, getting first aid kits/defibs/keeping other people back etc). There is lots of supporting actions that need to get done that that doesn't have the same weight of responsibility but still will help save a life.

                It also doesn't help that movies often show people giving CPR and then the casualty coughing up some water and being okay. 'Its like - No mate, you weren't breathing for a while, you've probably done some real damage'. Everything I've been taught is if you need to give CPR the person is already in a really bad way. The job of a first aider is just to minimise damage until advanced care arrives.

                • @futureminime: yeah i can understand that. I never thought about it that way. So its more about the blame/guilt than legal culpability. Well i hope i'm never faced with that situation to find out what goes through my head

        • Outside of someone else taking over, paramedics arriving etc..we were told that you can't stop until you physically cannot continue, whether it be because of exhaustion, safety etc.

      • Ummm….
        I admit that the cops are going after this guy but:
        https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/porsche-drive...

        Mr Pusey is facing multiple charges including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, destruction of evidence, perverting the course of justice, failing to remain at the scene after a drug test and failing to render assistance.

        • That's because he was involved in the incident. Rendering assistance isn't required if you're literally uninvolved and just drive by (though I'd hope most people would)

          https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/traffic-o...

        • That charge sounds dodgy given he actually wasn't involved in the collision in question (being that he was outside any vehicle standing on the other side of a barrier, it'd be quite hard to argue otherwise) but I guess we'll see how the case plays out

          • @BobLim: Yeah, people get emotional and when actions appear morally wrong, the public will want anything and everything pinned to that person responsible.
            I wouldn't be surprised if they failed to convict him on that.

        • His lawyer is arguing that he has been over-charged (which he probably was) but everyone is cool with it because he's an obvious scumbag with no respect for human life.
          Imagine seeing any person (even if they weren't an officer) pinned between two vehicles living their last moments as their lower body is completely crushed and you decide not only to taunt them but to record it on your camera phone.

          But ignoring this very prominent and almost unique case, rendering assistance is only usually required if you are involved (even if it's not your fault).
          So for example if you go through a green, another driver runs a red and causes a collision.
          If you exit your car without a scratch and they are bleeding out, I'm pretty sure you'd be required to assist them instead of just watching them die or leaving.

          And as a personal opinion I think you should assist when you can. Even so much as trying to slow blood loss and call 000 should be what your conscience demands.
          Someone has to have done something pretty irredeemable for me to feel comfortable with just letting them die.

    • In the Northern Territory, part of their criminal code specifically references not rendering assistance (of any kind) in a medical emergency.

      155 - Failure to rescue, provide help, &c. Any person who, being able to provide rescue, resuscitation, medical treatment, first aid or succour of any kind to a person urgently in need of it and whose life may be endangered if it is not provided, callously fails to do so is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years. Source

      I interpret this to say that if you were aware of the incident and didn't offer assistance or call authorities you could be liable. New South Wales has a similar law but only for medical practitioners and not the general public. As far as I am aware, there aren't any other states that have laws on this matter.

      There are laws in place in most states that protect bystanders that perform medical assistance incorrectly, like you mentioned the "Good Samaritan" laws.

      • The NT is probably 'different' in as much as the distances on the roads (vast) with the amount of traffic (not a lot), that seeing someone in distress / had an accident, and you drive past, it could be possibly hours before someone else comes along.

        So, the law there to render assistance as a "requirement" makes sense. However, on a second reading, it does say "Any person who, being able to…" - if you honestly did not believe that you would be able to provide any of that, then perhaps you could drive on.

        Of course, 'you' would be driving so you could get to a spot where you could then call '000', wouldn't you ;)

        • The NT is probably 'different'

          Not that different.
          NSW: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rta201318...
          ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 2013 - SECT 146 - Offence of failing to stop and assist after impact causing injury:
          (1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
          (c) the person fails to stop and give any assistance that may be necessary and that it is in the person's power to give.

          Tasmania, SA, QLD, VIC appear to restrict it to "if you're involved in the accident".
          In the ACT you only need to give your details if you've been involved in the crash. So i guess shoving a piece of paper in a gaping wound would be okay. But you don't need to help.

          Can't find much about WA.

          • @Martijn: I've always understood the NSW legislation to apply if you are actually involved in an impact, not if you are a passer by.

          • @Martijn: I think the key phrase here is "after impact", which (to me at least - IANALNDIPOIATVS*) implies "impact between the two (or more) parties involved".

            In OP's instance, there was a single party (I don't think the tree was going anywhere ;) involved in the impact, the aforementioned dipstick. OP was not a party to the "impact". Yes, they were a witness to the impact, and thus may have been able to provide a witness statement - although there is no (AFAIK) legal obligation on them to hang around and do so. The Police may, at a later date, as for witnesses to come forward (or not).

            To a related topic - rendering first aid. One of the first things you are taught in First Aid, is "DRABC" - the "D" being "Danger". i.e. is there a 'danger' to yourself if you go in to render aid? If so, do not put yourself in danger. Better for there to be one person Fire and Rescue have to haul out, than two.

            It could be argued that OP felt they would be in danger by stopping and rendering first aid. They were certainly endangered by the dipstick's actions before the prang. There is a high probability that the person in the wreck would place the blame on OP for the accident, and perhaps try to harm OP as a result of their delusion.

            * IANALNDIPOIATVS - I Am Not A Lawyer Nor Do I Play One In A TV Show

        • The term "succur" is the catach-all here. The modern understanding is "help". Thus it reads - "help of any kind".
          It does not specify the level of "help" at all and calling 000 is the minimum expectation.

      • I'm unsure if the average person would be considered as "being able to provide rescue, resuscitation, medical treatment, first aid or succour of any kind" in that criminal code.

        I think they could be considered a person with the ability to call 000 for an ambulance, to call someone who could render that type of assistance, but not able to render that assistance themselves. That is, I don't think that there is a legal obligation to call 000 if you see someone in need of that help.

      • NT is unique in Australia that you have an automatic duty of care to intervene if you have been trained (ie CPR, First Aid). Other states only have a duty of care once you have commenced rendering assistance.. so to answer the original question - you have no duty of care to render assistance so long as you don't commence.

        Having said that. Not stopping to render assistance if you have been "involved" in an accident is completely different. so have fun arguing in court whether or not you were involved in the accident occuring.

        • This is not correct.
          A qualification is not going to increase of decrease your legal liability.
          Using your example of qualification = duty of care, if a workplace wanted to avoid legal liabilty then NOBODY would be trained in first aid (thus - no liabilty - although this would be vocaroius liability and also a breech of section 50 nt work health act).

          Duty of care is a seperate element to Section 155 of the NT Criminal Code.
          If someone injures themselves on a workplace - that workplace has a legal responsibilty to provide assistence (thus a "duty of care"), regardless if that person was staff, contractor, or customer/client.
          If you are in a situation where you do NOT have a duty of care already (for example walking home), and you come across someone who needs assistence but chose not to help them - that is then a breech of 155 (which is a criminal charge for an individual) and not a breech of "duty of care".

        • Not stopping to render assistance if you have been "involved" in an accident is completely different. so have fun arguing in court whether or not you were involved in the accident occuring.

          does that apply to any other vehicle that drove past as well?

    • perform the heimlech maneuovr on a person

      Don't do that.

      Do this: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/choking

    • A good example of this would be trying to remove a motorcyclists helmet after an accident, one of the worst things you can do

      • I think that depends on the injury and is not always true. If they have a suspected c-spine fracture then sure you wouldn't want to remove the helmet without someone doing inline stabilisation of the spine.

        However if they had a nasty depressed skull fracture which is causing raised intracranial pressure resulting in coning of their respiratory centre then removing the pressure and allowing the flap to expand out might actually save their life.

        Paramedics on scene would be removing the helmet while stabilising the neck…

        You'd rather be alive and risk quadriplegia…

      • There are a ton of horror stories about this.
        I agree that it is best not practiced unless critical (person has a blocked airway).
        Most motorbike incidents i have attened helmet has been removed by rider.
        All where i have needed to remvoe helmet the person has airway complications.

        It is a skill that needs to be practiced to do it correctly - but airways over everything.

    • My parents helped an intoxicated motorcyclist after he crashed into a tree. Dude wrote down their license plate and sued them for hitting him behind. Luckily there happened to be a store owner who witnessed the whole ordeal across the street. Moral of the story is to park your car away from the incident if you want to be a good Samaritan. This did not happen in Australia though.

  • +1 vote

    Is this some scene in a movie? And you are thinking about Karma and what if…

  • +41 votes

    That's some specific hypotheticals

  • This is called 'duty to rescue' and there are no laws requiring it in Australia

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/lawyer-calls-for-duty-to-rescue-...

  • Legally, you're all good. No one can make you render assistance.

    Morally, you're all good. You did not contribute to the situation. You're about as morally obligated to help as you are to send a dollar to starvin' Marvin.

    You'd be morally wrong to have your decision to render assistance (especially if it is just to alert emergency response) based solely on your judgement of the other driver.

    • Morally, you're all good. You did not contribute to the situation.

      What moral code are you using?
      Might be time to check that repository for data corruption.

      • Simple. Read on if you're genuinely interested otherwise I'm not doing this to change anyone's mind.

        If you operate on the principles you must render assistance if you're aware of a need (not specific to this scenario but I am sure you're aware that there are starving people somewhere) then you cannot possible adhere to it as there are plenty in need and you definitely are not rendering assistance all the time.

        So if you broaden the definition to rendering assistance where it is reasonable to do so (which I think is BS as "reasonable" is malleable to individual convenience), then have you reasonably relinquished your luxuries to render assistance? Probably not also.

        If I am operating on "do unto others what you will upon yourself", then it still doesn't contradict that as I am not expecting assistance from others.

        So, moral obligation? No. Charitable deed? Yes.

        Charity is not a moral obligation otherwise it wouldn't be charity anymore, it would just be moral obligation.

        If the deed itself is now free of moral consideration, then there is only the decision for the deed. If one makes a decision to render assistance because it is a nice car or a nice person, then by extension, the decision to not help would be based on some form of assessment of gain or lack thereof.

        • Pretty solid reasoning.

          To offer my take on it, I'd say stopping to render assistance is not a moral obligation (at least at this point in time) but calling up 000 to report the accident ASAP is.

          • @outlander: Thanks.

            Just to explore your take on it, what moral principle are you applying that requires you to take the aforementioned action?

            • @tshow:

              Just to explore your take on it, what moral principle are you applying that requires you to take the aforementioned action?

              Sounds like you the situation was a little different to what you glossed over (I do that a lot too don't worry) so me replying is no doubt unnecessary at this point, but just for the sake of wasting time, I'll write a few words on it.

              I think it comes down to what you believe the purpose of morality is. For some it gets mixed up with religion and getting into heaven. For me, it's about mostly about efficiency, and building a strong society where you get more than you put in. Take the following: Imagine if you were offered the chance to give up a dollar in exchange for a stranger to get $3. Would you do it? Probably not. Why give up something if you didn't have to, for no reward. But, if everyone acted that way, the benefits would accumulate and eventually come back to you, making you personally richer and making for richer society.

              That never happens you might say, and you would be right. No-one ever comes to you and gives you money with those terms. But what does happen, and quite often, is this exact scenario with time. Events where by sacrificing some of your time, you can avoid others having to spend a lot more of theirs. OPs scenerio is one of them. Putting aside the whole 'fellow human' aspect, from a societal view, humans are important yet expensive assets. To rear a person to 25 costs a lot, close to a 500,000 dollars in cash and a similar amount worth of time. If OP can act in a way to minimize harm to this guy and maybe save his life, then thats a net win for society.

              Now, OPs made some aspersions on this guys value, and for all we know he might be right. Some people are a net negative to society, and removing them does make things better for everyone. But those are some involved calculations, and I don't think that OP is anywhere close to being able to make them. Its better if he errs on the side of caution.

              After all, you can still kill someone after you've saved them. You can't resurrect a dead man.

              • @outlander:

                aspersions on this guys value, and for all we know he might be right. Some people are a net negative to society, and removing them does make things better for everyone. But those are some involved calculations, and I don't think that OP is anywhere close to being able to make them. Its better if he errs on the side of caution.

                Actually, this is precisely the conditions that make me say it is not necessarily a moral obligation but nonetheless, morality to be suspended.

                Let's say you stumbled upon a convicted murderer and rapist (for the purpose of the example, this is fact) grasping on straws against a cliff. Should this affect your decision to render help?

                So here's my take on that. I would still render assistance because of the aforementioned "rule". In fact, I am not alone in this philosophy. We cannot make absolute judgement and death is absolute so we are still bound, perhaps by morals, perhaps covid duty or animal instinct, to prevent imminent death.

                This is the same philosophy every doctor should be practicing. There are some bits which may seem "cruel" but without definition of morals, no one can live up to it nor be accountable to it.

        • It is disgusting that you are a medical doctor who holds such a callous attitude towards fellow humans.

          • @parsimonious one: Strong feelings don't help anyone.

            Personally, I would stop and render assistance but the comment was not "what I would do."

            The real world doesn't care about your feelings and I don't say that to offend. You can either learn to navigate reality or go around being disgusted by it, forever being sheltered in ignorance.

            • @tshow: Oh I am not ignorant to the fact that the world is full of callous, selfish people.

              It’s just unfortunate when such people get themselves in to positions which are supposed to require empathy for others.

              But, in the words of one such callous narcissist… it is what it is.

              • @parsimonious one: You're just overly judgemental.

                You've come to the conclusion I won't help purely because I don't consider it a moral obligation.

                I am presuming the "callous and selfish" adjectives were also directed at me.

                You don't care about intentions or actions. You're just on your high horse virtue signalling.

                • @tshow: @tshow

                  I just did a quick google search of the term "narcissist" as I wanted to ensure I wasn't misusing the term, and it appears I owe you an apology.

                  I didn't realise that its a legitimate medical condition and I may be being critical of something of which you have no control over.

                  This was the info from the first site that came up (Mayo clinic):

                  Narcissistic personality, is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration and a lack of empathy for others…behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism

                  Upon reflection of your comments all I could think was "this checks a lot of boxes"

                  Please accept my sincere apologies, I didn't mean to have a go at you for something that is a legitimate condition.

                  I hope you get able to get the help you need

                  I've attached the website link for you in case you want to read more.

                  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-....

                  Get well soon brother

                  • @parsimonious one: That's some weird form of rebuttal but go for it. It's still better than your other comments. :S

                    Just don't go around telling other people you're disgusted and diagnosing them with your self taught psychiatry. People in real life don't take kindly to that sort of nonsense.

                    I take comfort in knowing you don't actually do that in person. It's more of a "behind the safety of a keyboard" thing. Stay safe.

        • +5 votes

          If you operate on the principles you must render assistance if you're aware of a need (not specific to this scenario but I am sure you're aware that there are starving people somewhere) then you cannot possible adhere to it as there are plenty in need and you definitely are not rendering assistance all the time.

          This is… not good logic.
          The case in question is where the the hypothetical driver is in a unique position to be able to help the crashed person. They are right there at that time, they may in fact be the only other person there at that time, and the crashed person is in an acute situation where receiving help in the next few minutes may determine whether they live or die.

          It's not analogous to the issue of 'starving people somewhere' because that is a broad and general issue which effects many people, where many people could potentially offer some assistance, but where the exact time and place that that help is delivered doesn't make a big difference to the overall issue, and where the actual cause is political and economic in nature and not something that any individual has the power to address. I think you're using a strawman here.

          I think the real moral question that the OP was asking (if it was a moral question at all) was not "Am I required to stop and help" but "Am I required to stop and help someone who was being an (profanity) and put themselves and other people at risk".

          My view is that yes, if you happen to be one of a small number people in a particular place and time who is able to render assistance to someone that may save their life, you are morally obligated to do so, as long as that doesn't put you in danger. Even if they are being an (profanity).

          • @moph:

            The case in question is… receiving help in the next few minutes may determine whether they live or die.

            If there's a strawman, it is this. You've created a whole separate issue of rendering assistance where death is known to be imminent.

            In this case, as I've mentioned multiple times in older threads, where mortality is known to be at stake, all other moral considerations are suspended and assistance should be rendered.

            If one doesn't stop, one doesn't know. A bit like Schrodinger's.

            I think you're using a strawman here.

            That was an analogy of another situation where the situation is known but you're only party to it as a bystander.

            My view is that yes, if you happen to be one of a small number people in a particular place and time who is able to render assistance to someone that may save their life, you are morally obligated to do so, as long as that doesn't put you in danger. Even if they are being an (profanity).

            This does not differ from my view only if it is known that death is imminent. I'm not sure that it falls under moral obligation either but as mentioned, moral considerations are suspended.

            Ps. Thanks for the valuable perspective. It's very constructive.

            • @tshow:

              If there's a strawman, it is is this. You've created a whole separate issue of rendering assistance where death is known to be imminent

              No, I didn't say that death is known to be imminent, and I don't think that's a requirement for the moral obligation.
              I said that death may be imminent, which is a reasonable assumption upon witnessing a bad car crash.

              The idea that you can keep driving and shrug off the chance that someone's life will be permanently affected (whether or not they actually die, there is a high chance of major disability from a bad car crash) simply because you did not know positively that the person was dying or very badly injured is … bad.

              BTW, Schrodinger's whole point with the cat analogy was to demonstrate how quantum uncertainty simply can not be used to understand the classical world. The cat is not in a superposition of alive and dead states, because although quantum particles can be, cats can't. The cat is simply either alive or dead. The observer just doesn't know which one it is. Ironically, this applies perfectly to the hypothetical, although not in the way you intended. The person in the crashed car is either OK, or else not. You don't know which. Your lack of knowledge doesn't change the moral obligation, since there is a reasonable possibility that they are in urgent need of help and you are uniquely placed to be able to offer that help.

              Edit - thanks, always happy to engage in respectful intellectual jousting on a hypothetical question on my favourite bargains site.

              • @moph:

                BTW, Schrodinger's whole point with the cat analogy

                I know. I said it is like, not the actual physics phenomenon. Just like Schroedinger, neither of us were actually talking about cats either.

                You clearly understood what I meant so I am not sure why this is even necessary.

                I said that death may be imminent, which is a reasonable assumption upon witnessing a bad car crash.

                I don't know if it is a bad crash.

                Perhaps we are not on the same page.

                I'm referring to a crash in general. No specifics. The response for the specific incident is already there, it is immoral because the decision was made based on character assessment.

                • @tshow: Well, the OP said the car was totally wrecked. To me that suggests a situation where there’s a good chance the occupant was badly injured.

                  And yes, the OP has said that in fact the person does die or loses their legs. So… we know it was a serious crash.
                  And we are in agreement that deciding to render assistance or not based on character is immoral. But… you said it wasn't immoral before in the post I originally replied to?

                  • @moph: Sorry, I glossed over that or the original has changed. The relevant information I gleamed from the first read was that the judgement was based on character assessment, which of course is a big no from me.

                    Ps. I've reread the original and did miss the entire snuffy bit (I don't tend to read those). I happily amend my position that it would be immoral to knowingly leave someone to die or have their legs chopped off. If you've read my other comments on morality, I have quite literally said that imminent loss of limb or life warrants suspension of moral consideration.

                    (Having said that I don't think it is a moral obligation, but all moral considerations should be suspended. This has more to do with specific scenarios where if it is considered a moral deed, then it gets muddy. I will elaborate if asked.)

                    • @tshow: Yeah I think OP may have updated the post because I don’t recall that part being there when I first read it either (although the “totally wrecked” bit was).

                      Ok so it sounds like we are on the same page re: the moral necessity of helping someone in this scenario. In that case I don’t understand why you brought up the part about Schroedinger and “knowing” that the person’s death was imminent. Isn’t reasonably assuming that a person might be badly injured enough?

                      • @moph:

                        Isn’t reasonably assuming that a person might be badly injured enough?

                        I haaaate that word but yes, if I have knowledge of a severe injury, my assumption is that it leads to loss of limb or life. "Loss of limb" is almost colloquial. I wouldn't argue that it is ineffectual to operate without some assumption but since this is a moral hence an individual standard, the only person one would be reasoning with is themselves. So reasonable doesn't really exist.

                        I brought up Schroedinger's because I like cats… but seriously, it is for the imagery of not knowing.

                        • @tshow: Reasonable might be a squishy word, but enough court cases have been decided based on its definition that it clearly has some meaning. And I guess that like me, you might be suspicious of the legal profession and their creative uses of words, but take the counterpoint as a test. Could you imagine someone arguing in good faith that it is safe to assume that, following a major car crash, the driver would walk away without a scratch? It’s not a complicated question and basic familiarity with the realities of physics and biology should result in a pretty consistent answer, so I don’t see this as an issue where debates on the definitions of words have much place.

        • For me your argument falls down here:

          "If I am operating on "do unto others what you will upon yourself", then it still doesn't contradict that as I am not expecting assistance from others."

          If you and your family are involved in a terrible accident and lying near death - I think you will call for assistance for your loved one (if not for yourself). I think you'd revisit this logic if passers by stepped around you and left your family to die.

          • @drfuzzy: I wouldn't like it but I wouldn't oblige them to it either. There is a difference and it seems people these days often think of them as the same thing.

            "I want something done a certain way so that is my expectation."

    • In the majority of places this is correct, but not everywhere to the best of my knowledge. I commented above (which I won't copy/paste here), there is a law in the NT that suggests giving assistance of some kind is required. Also if you're a medical practitioner in NSW rendering assistance is required (in my interpretation).

      • +10 votes

        medical practitioner in NSW rendering assistance is required

        This is a requirement in every state if you've made yourself known to be a medical practitioner (real one that is, not a chiropractor.)

        Example - if you're in a sitcom restaurant and someone is choking on a comedically oversized steak, you as a doctor can shut up and keep on eating. However, if someone has accurately identified you as a doctor or if you've got yourself a hot date, jumped up and declared you're a doctor, you cannot sit back down and finish that overpriced blue steak (which is now starting to resemble the lips of the choking victim so your appetite is lost anyway.)

        • Bahaha take a +1 for unnecessary imagery

        • and another for the stab at Chiro's :)

        • Citation?
          Only the NT has such a law (section 155). It is general in nature and gets everyone.
          For medical practioners (and vets(?)) there are addressed in Personal Injuries and Liabilities section 8, specifically they are exempt from liability for providing advise (general public are protected - but not able to offer advice).
          As you mentioned and in a long post earlier, is it legal requirement? (for the NT and elsewhere i suspect no).
          Is it a morally right?

          • @dmaca667:

            As you mentioned and in a long post earlier, is it legal requirement? (for the NT and elsewhere i suspect no).

            Sorry, I am not invested enough to cite it but practically any doctor in any state will tell you the same thing. I'm not a graduate of NSW but the legal lectures were unambigiously clear on that position.

            Is it a morally right?

            As we have sworn an oath and agreed to the standards set out by our professional board, it becomes moral and legal obligation as we take the oath voluntarily.

    • +20 votes

      That's only if you're party to the collision.

      OP isn't.

    • You cant be forced to go over to them. What's the say there isn't petrol leaking everywhere and by going over you get killed in the pending blaze