Driving past an accident victim or taking a video and posting it on social media has unfortunately become a common sight in our city…
The empathy to help a victim get medical intervention has taken a major setback due to the fear of detention by the police and associated legal issues. Yet, this is far from the truth and there are laws in place to protect the good samaritans.
Helping an accident victim will not land you in trouble! In fact, you may even get awarded for being a Good Samaritan.
Testifying to this, Karnataka is India’s first state to have the Good Samaritan Law (GSL) in place to protect the interest of eye witnesses who help the victims in the ‘golden hour’ of the accident.
According to a report, the Karnataka government will provide financial help to good Samaritans who help victims in a timely manner. They will be exempt from repeated attendance in courts and police stations and in case attendance is mandatory, expenses of such “running around to courts and police stations” will be taken care off through the proposed ‘Good Samaritan Fund’.
Although such a law hasn’t seen national implementation yet, it does encourage people to help accident victims and save their lives.
To clear the air on the procedures that follow when a bystander brings the victim to a hospital, Dr Roshan Palresha, Head of Emergency Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital shares, “We just mention the name, contact details and address of the person who has brought the patient to the hospital.
For any road traffic accident, we have to file an MLC (Medico Legal Case) irrespective of if the person knows the patient or not, major accident or minor. Even if the patient comes alone, we have to file an MLC. Only in minor cases where only first aid has to be provided and the patient can be discharged, an MLC may not be required.
The MLC records all the available relevant information about the accident, the patient’s injuries, mode and mechanism of injury, date, time, place etc. along with an injury certificate.
Majority of the time spent by the concerned person depends on how quickly the patient is stabilized and then the MLC can be prepared.
If some unknown person has brought the accident victim, the copy of the details are shared with the area police station where the accident took place. Apart from that, all he has to do is register the patient in the hospital mentioning that he/she is unknown to him and then the further treatment and investigation commence.
Moreover, the person is only contacted multiple times in case of grave injuries or in cases like murder, suicide etc where he has been the eye witness.
Many people have this notion that they may get held up in the paperwork at the hospital if they take the victim to a hospital, but this isn’t the case.
Only if the concerned person wishes to co-operate and wait for the police to come to the hospital and give his statement of the accident, he may do so, otherwise he can go home and the police personal will contact him/ her later on phone.
Nowadays, people have started bringing in unknown accident victims to the hospital. Yet, not everyone is very co-operative and there are some who are reluctant to even wait for the medical procedures to finish.
In fact, there are some who are generous enough to pay and get any kind of medical intervention for the patient.
To encourage such people, we as a hospital often reward a Good Samaritan with an award for his generosity and kindness,” adds Dr Roshan.
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