Ministers drawing up the new law highlighted the case of 10-year-old boy who drowned while trying to rescue his little sister from a pond. Police community support officers stood and watched. Regulations required water rescue training.
In another case, a 44 year old woman died from a heart attack brought on by hypothermia after she fell into a mine shaft. Health and safety rules prevented a paramedic going in to help her.
And another example is shown when paramedics took an 82-year-old woman home after a fall, and then watched her drag herself up the stairs to her front door wearing a leg splint. Regulations would not permit them to carry her.
In France, citizens are actively encouraged to step in and help people in need and risk prosecution if they do not.
It seems common sense that ordinary people in society should be protected from legal action. If someone finds the courage to help a stranger while they're being robbed, or drowning, or clinging to a precipice, surely they shouldn't have to worry about the consequences to themselves.
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