For expats helping accident victims is a natural instinct

By Ewa Manthey Source:Global Times Published: 2013-12-5 16:58:01

A 39-year-old American teacher in Shanghai helped an injured man lying on the road on Monday night, walking out from a crowd of onlookers, city media reported. The injured man had been riding a scooter in Minhang district when he hit a car door which had been suddenly opened.

The teacher, Jill Warner, works at the Shanghai United International School. She tried to help the man although she doesn't speak any Chinese and doesn't have any medical training but onlookers were telling her not to get involved.

The woman made sure an ambulance was called, then knelt down and held the injured man's hand to comfort him. Warner told the city media later that she encountered a similar incident last week when she saw another victim of a motorbike and car accident and did the same thing, holding his hand until an ambulance arrived.

The man is currently in a stable condition, recovering at home. He expressed his gratitude to Warner for providing him comfort and encouragement.

In the past, city media have reported similar incidents but where people who offered to help accident victims were later accused of doing harm rather than helping.

What do Shanghai expats think about this incident? Have they been in similar situations? How would they react if it happened to them? What happens in similar situations in their home countries?

Tobias Budiman, from Germany, banker

"I know that some people think helping people in need is too risky in China. Still, if I was in a situation like that American teacher was, I would have definitely helped the injured man. I am really glad she was there. Otherwise that poor man could have died and no one would have done anything. If I was there I wouldn't hesitate to help.

Back in my home country you never really hear stories of people being falsely accused of causing accidents when they were really only trying to help out.

It makes me wonder if anyone would help me if I ever needed help while I'm in China. I'd like to think that there are still good people out there. And that American woman just proved that there are."

Heather Leary, from the US, student

"I was in a similar situation recently. I was walking down the street in Shanghai with a friend and an old man walking next to us fell down and couldn't get up. We didn't hesitate even for one second and we rushed to help him. Neither of us speaks Chinese so we couldn't communicate with the man but a young Chinese girl helped us out. We helped the man get up and walked him to his house nearby to make sure nothing else happened to him.

I feel that most of the expats in Shanghai would act like this in a similar situation. It's just a human instinct to help people who need it.

When you hear stories about people being wrongly accused it can be discouraging. I know there have been cases like this in the US, where I come from."

Olivia Perrot, from France, marketing manager

"I am always willing to help. If I was in a similar situation I wouldn't hesitate to help. Hearing stories like this one always makes me feel good. I hope that this American expat will inspire others to help.

I know that the possibility of being falsely accused might be scary to some but we should be all willing to take that risk. We could save somebody's life. I would want someone to help me if I was injured too.

I find it funny that whenever an incident like this one occurs, everyone praises the rescuer for helping out. But shouldn't it be normal to help someone who is injured or dying? At least it should be in a normal society.

But it's not only in China that things like this happen. In the West some people would think twice before helping someone.

I believe people should at least call an ambulance if they don't dare help accident victims themselves. That's the very least they should do."

Posted in: Metro Shanghai

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