Duty to Rescue Law
In the legal system, the concept of a “duty to rescue” law refers to a legal mandate that a person help another individual that finds themselves in some reasonable amount of danger; failure to assist can result in legal prosecution or civil charges. However, in most English-speaking countries, there is no legal requirement that a person come to the aid of another person. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If a person creates a hazardous situation, for example, it is their responsibility to ensure no other person is harmed as a result of the situation they created. Similarly, parents have an obligation to rescue their child, just as spouses do for one another.
When a duty to rescue is taking place, there are some steps that responders must take to ensure the legal protections of everyone. First and foremost, the rescuer needs to respond with reasonable care; they cannot behave irrationally or erratically, putting the second person’s life at risk in the process. Many states do have protections for individuals that choose to come to others’ aid, ensuring they cannot be prosecuted for actions that were undertaken by a separate person entirely. The concept of the “duty to rescue” law is also popular in the field of philosophy. By challenging students to consider the evidence and make an argument of their own creation, they are forced to consider the various legal, ethical, and moral frameworks and make their own conclusions about the suitability of “duty to rescue” laws in various situations.