Less than one year ago, the largest television audience since the series finale of M*A
*S*H tuned in to watch the last episode of Seinfeld As the nation watched, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer said farewell with the arrest, trial, and conviction of violating a Good Samaritan law. While this made for a hilarious television show, this law itself seems to both contradict its essence as well as violate the right to freedom of choice of a citizen. The Good Samaritan law, which requires a bystander to provide aid to those who are in harm’s way if there is no apparent immediate danger to the bystander, encroaches upon the rights of a citizen. This law is an inexcusable violation of American civil liberties and should be stricken from the records, leaving only people’s moral compasses as their guide.
The morality of this law is relatively simple: help those in trouble. Generally society
seems to consider it a moral obligation to prevent the injury of another person, sometimes even at risk to one’s self. People who do not help others in need are frequently bad examples for the rest of the world. For example, in Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge is infamous for his selfishness and disregard for the well-being of others such as Bob Cratchett and his family (barely paying him and not allowing him more than a day for Christmas). Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley, is damned for the same type of crimes. The only path to redemption for Ebeneezer is through helping others who are in need: giving food to the Cratchetts and caring for a sickly Tiny Tim.
While Scrooge had a moral reason to help others, there was no Constitutional burden to
do so. If the federal...
... middle of paper ...
...ce call buttons more accessible to the public since many are willing to contact the law enforcement officials.
Although Jerry and Elaine can not seem to provide more than a few jokes when seeing
their fellow man in trouble, the majority of Americans seem to be willing to help. Despite several incidents to the contrary, the morals of most people will guide them. These less-talked-about occasions in which people called the police, yelled for help, or even tried to physically stop attackers outweigh the apathetic few. With these facts in mind, this law presents unacceptable violations of the freedom of liberty. Ultimately, then, Good Samaritan laws are both unnecessary and dangerous.
“Good Samaritan Laws are Questionable.” alt.politics.lawenforcenieflt.Ca.Com (12 October 1998)
“Rapist-Murderer Case.” alt.adoption.com (03 September 1998).
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