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October 29, 2011

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The highs and lows of being a good Samaritan

A FOREIGNER living in the city who rescued a drowning woman last month, told Shanghai Daily yesterday she is concerned by the reluctance of people to help others.

Uruguayan Maria Fernanda was hailed for her bravery after diving into the West Lake in Hangzhou City, after seeing a woman in difficulties.

Fernanda told a Uruguayan newspaper afterward that she decided to dive in as she couldn't bear seeing people just standing by taking photographs and filming the woman in distress.

Yesterday, she told Shanghai Daily that people should consider why this seeming indifference exists.

"I'm so glad that this event will generate discussion and make us think about what's happening in our global society," Fernanda said.

However, there have been reports of good Samaritans being accused of causing an accident, either by the person they help - who seeks compensation - or the culprit.

This week in Zhejiang Province, a female motorist, surnamed Xu, saw in her rearview mirror someone had been hit by a vehicle.

Xu stopped her car, called police and tended to the victim, wiping away his blood.

But when police arrived, a motorcyclist, surnamed Guo, told the officers that Xu had hit the pedestrian with her car.

As the victim was weak from his injuries and could not speak, traffic police had to look for evidence on surveillance cameras.

This showed that the motorcyclist Guo was responsible for the accident.

When questioned by police later, Guo admitted: "I wouldn't have said it was her if she hadn't stopped and helped."

However, Xu said she regretted nothing, and she would help again if she encountered a similar situation.


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