It’s not because they don’t want to help, it’s because they’ve been conditioned not to.

If you unfortunately get into or see an accident in the United States with witnesses around, there’s a good chance you, or people around you, will rush to help.

That’s because, not only are most people naturally good, there are Good Samaritan laws in all 50 states that, according to West Coast Trial Lawyers,

“…protect Good Samaritans from “civil damages” … which include compensatory and punitive damages.”

These laws have been in effect for at least a decade. It’s understood that, if we help out a victim, we can reasonably expect not to be sued or, if we are sued, we have Good Samaritan laws to protect us.

However, if you ever watched CCTV accident videos from China, the reaction from witnesses is the exact opposite, witnesses will not do anything and sadly, might let an accident victim suffer or die from their injuries rather than help.

Check out this example from WGN News showing exactly that.

But, why is that?

American Stand-up Comedian Jiaoying Summers, who was born and raised in China and is deeply familiar with the Chinese Culture, recently appeared on the Your Mom’s House Podcast and broke it down for the hosts.

Summers explains that in China, you’re more likely to get sued or extorted by the victim for expenses simply by being near the victim.

“You cannot afford to lift somebody up because they would ask you to pay for all their medical expenses and funeral expenses, “Summers explains.

“Because in China, the traffic light is a suggestion. OK, that’s cute, but I’m still going to go through it. The thing is that if you are jaywalking, the truck hit you, it’s always the bigger vehicle’s fault. (In China) there’s no fault.”

“When somebody falls down, the person who’s right next to that person is a criminal. Because, why are you still there? Because you did it! You cannot engage because you’re going to get f***ed.”

“If they (the person who caused an accident) runs a red light, it’s not their fault, the car ran away.”

The truth about why bystanders in China won’t help.

Like a lot of cultural norms, an apathy to not help victims didn’t pop up overnight.

There is, however, a landmark case often cited as the linchpin, as of late, that really highlighted how it’s often better to not help victims.

According to SixTone, in 2006 a man helped an old woman who fell from a bus. He even looked after her, took her to the hospital, paid for her medical expenses. This man was a Good Samaritan Afterward, the woman sued the man and claimed he bumped into her, causing her to fall. The judge actually ruled in the woman’s favor,

” arguing that under normal circumstances, nobody would take a stranger to the hospital — let alone pay their medical bills — unless they were somehow responsible for the injury.”

That story alone set off a firestorm of similar stories in the media prior to this case, with this case being brought up ever since.

All these stories, in totality, engrained a collective apathy in Chinese Society that, it’s better to not help than help.

Did you know China actually has a Good Samaritan law?

Yes, in fact, they recently passed it in 2017 in response to this worrying trend and bad reputation of its citizens to not help during accidents.

According to China Daily on their report on the landmark event in October, 2017.

“China’s Good Samaritan law went into effect on Oct. 1, 2017 to protect people who are ready to help others.”

“Under the legislation, people who voluntarily offer emergency assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in danger, or otherwise incapacitated, will not have civil liability in the event of harm to the victims.”

But, as Redditor /u/2gun_cohen points out,

“Admittedly, it (China’s Good Samaritan law) is not as broad in its coverage as most would have liked. That is, it only specifically protects ‘Good Samaritans’ who have unintentionally caused injury when assisting victims.”

“Shenzhen and Shanghai (and probably other cities) have also enacted their own versions of the Good Samaritan Law providing broader coverage.”

However, since it only passed in 2017, it’s taken awhile to seep into and to become a part of China’s culture.

It’s why, to this day, you’ll still see videos of victims of accidents in China not getting help from bystanders.

Hopefully, in the years to come, citizens of China will know about their Good Samaratin laws and will rush to help if they’re able.

Like all laws, it’s only a matter of time.


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