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Govt notifies guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans who help road accident victims
Normally people don't come forward to save road accident victims, imagining the harassment, detention at hospitals and legal hassles associated with it. But, this won't be the case anymore as the Supreme Court today finally approved the central government's guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims.

This approval by the apex court came after a petition filed by SAVE Life foundation in 2012. During the hearing of the petition, the SC has directed the Government of India to issue necessary guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans until appropriate legislation is made.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has notified the guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who come forward to help road accident victims, from legal and procedural hassles.

A bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra has directed the center to publish the guidelines in media so that it gets a wide publicity and people who help others in the time of distress are not victimized by any authority.

Some of the key points of the guideline are:

  • Good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident may take an injured person to the nearest hospital, and the good Samaritan should be allowed to leave immediately except after furnishing address by the eyewitness only and no question shall be asked to such good Samaritan.

  • The Good Samaritan will be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward to help the road accident victims.

  • A Good Samaritan, will not be compelled to reveal his name and personal details, while informing the police about the road accident. The disclosure of personal details will be made totally voluntary in Medico Legal Case (MLC) Form also.

  • In case a Good Samaritan wants to become an eye-witness to the accident, then such Good Samaritan shall be examined on a single occasion and the State Government shall develop standard operating procedures to ensure that bystander or Good Samaritan is not harassed or intimidated. Video conferencing can be used in order to prevent harassment and inconvenience to Good Samaritans.

  • All registered public and private hospitals should not demand payment for registration and admission costs from the Good Samaritan, unless the Good Samaritan is a family member or relative of the injured and the injured is to be treated immediately.

  • Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, where he is expected to provide care, shall constitute "Professional Misconduct".

  • All hospitals shall publish a charter in Hindi, English and the vernacular language of the State at their entrance stating that they shall not detain Good Samaritan or ask depositing money from them for the treatment of an accident victim.

  • In case the Good Samaritan wants the hospital to acknowledge him about the well being of the injured person whom he brought to the hospital. Then an acknowledgment should be prepared in a standard format and shall be sent to the Good Samaritan.

  • All public and private hospitals shall implement these guidelines immediately and in case of non-compliance or violation of these guidelines appropriate action shall be taken by the concerned authorities.

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