LEGAL QUESTIONS: Stretching the Good Samaritan law

July 2004 
Volume 34  Number 7
Pages 22 - 22
  PDF Version Available!


  • Figure. No caption a...

    A friend and I were walking together when we passed a playground and saw a girl fall about 10 feet from the jungle gym. We rushed over, and my friend bent to speak to the girl and examine her. The mother told us the girl was 6 years old.

    My friend, an RN who works with patients with neurologic problems, did a quick basic assessment without asking the mother's permission. She had the girl stand up and bend forward. The child seemed frightened and was having some trouble breathing, probably from having the breath knocked out of her. An ambulance soon arrived and the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) took her to the hospital, just in case.

    I'm wondering what would happen if the girl developed problems. Could my friend be liable for making her stand up before the EMTs arrived with a backboard? Or would Good Samaritan laws cover her in this case? —O.M., DEL.

    Figure. No caption available. Good ...

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