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Why people wary of extending helping hand?


The unwillingness to help people in need can perhaps be traced to outcomes of high-profile lawsuits, where good Samaritans have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. CCTV reporter Wu Haojun looks at why people are wary of extending a helping hand to others.

In Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, an elderly woman claimed she was knocked over while trying to board a bus by fellow commuter Peng Yu as he was getting off. Peng tried to be a good Samaritan by accompanying her to the hospital, but his deed was viewed as an admission of guilt by a local court. Peng was ordered to pay 4,000 yuan in compensation to the woman.

A strikingly similar case happened in China's northeastern port city of Tianjin. An elderly woman filed a lawsuit against Xu Yunhe. She claimed she was hit by Xu's car. But according to Xu, he saw the woman fall as she tried to climb over a fence. He then offered to take her to the hospital. There was no hard evidence to support either side's claim, but a local court ultimately ruled in favor of the woman.

In Nantong city, Jiangsu Province, this was a case with reliable proof captured on a surveillance camera. Bus driver Yin Hongbin was accused of running into an elderly woman. But footage from the bus revealed the facts.

Tn elderly woman said, "I was very confused then. I thought he was the one who hit me."

Yin Hongbin said, "I was really upset that I was accused, because I got off the bus specifically to help the woman. But I don't regret it."

With an increasing number of cases involving people suing those who help them, there are growing calls from the public for legal reforms that better protect the rights of China's good Samaritans.

(CNTV October 19, 2011)

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