Good Samaritans to be protected by law

Updated 2016-12-20 10:02:27 China Daily
A doctor offering closed-chest cardiac massage on a patient while kneeling down on a quick moving stretcher in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

A doctor offering closed-chest cardiac massage on a patient while kneeling down on a quick moving stretcher in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Good Samaritans shall not be liable for damages caused to those being helped during emergency rescue efforts, the top legislature said.

The latest draft of the General Rules of Civil Law, which was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for a third reading on Monday, added the clause, which is aimed at inspiring the public to be more morally conscious and states that good Samaritans should not bear civil responsibility for damages to those being helped, except in cases of gross negligence.

Wang Lei, an associate law professor at China Youth University of Political Studies, said: "The extra clause is to protect the civil rights of good Samaritans, reducing concerns about whether emergency actions may cause damages to others."

But the draft did not clarify which situations are defined as gross negligence.

Wang said that the current draft is an important step to help courts deal with such disputes, "but the added clause does not mean good Samaritans can be exempted from all and any damage they bring to those being helped".

The draft of the General Rules of Civil Law also includes extra clauses to protect civil rights.

The draft stipulates that civil subjects can exercise their rights according to their own will and without interference.

After the levying and requisition of real estate and personal property, in the public interest, civil subjects should be justly and appropriately compensated, according to the draft.

In addition, the draft stipulates that civil affairs departments and neighborhood or village committees should assume guardianship if no one is qualified to do so.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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