Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good Samaritan Laws

There are several laws in Massachusetts insulating those rendering aid from liability, but no law requiring a bystander to provide assistance. Separate statutes free EMS personnel, physicians and nurses, and the general public trained in CPR from personal liability. Many sources suggest that Massachusetts has a “duty to aid” law, which requires witnesses to come to the assistance of crime victims. In fact, this law creates a duty to report, but not a duty to aid. Chapter 268, section 40 provides “Whoever knows that another person is a victim of aggravated rape, rape, murder, manslaughter or armed robbery and is at the scene of said crime shall, to the extent that said person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report said crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable.”