President approves Karnataka’s Good Samaritan Bill

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President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to a bill, which will give legal protection to the good samaritans in Karnataka who help accidents victims with emergency medical care within the ‘golden hour’, officials said Sunday.

In medical terms, the ‘golden hour’ is the first hour after a traumatic injury when emergency treatment is very crucial.

With the bill being India’s first, Karnataka has become the first state to give legal protection to good samaritans through a legislation amidst the rising incidents of accidental deaths in India, which saw 1,50,785 people getting killed in road accidents in 2016.

The president has given his assent to the Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation during Emergency Situations) Bill, 2016, a home ministry official said.

Under the new law, the Karnataka government will provide financial help to good samaritans who help victims in a timely manner, they will be exempted from repeated attendance in courts and police stations, in case attendance is mandatory, expenses of such “running around to courts and police stations” will be taken care through the proposed ‘Good Samaritan Fund’.

After admitting the accident victim to the hospital, the good samaritan can leave immediately, all government as well as private hospitals are bound to give first aid to the accident victims, according to the new legislation.

“With the new law, there will be clear message that good samaritans will not be harassed in any manner,” the official said.

There is no central law to protect the good samaritans. However, the Union Surface Transport Ministry had issued a set of guidelines in 2015 following a Supreme Court order to protect the good samaritans.

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