Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan Law:

a legal principle that prevents a rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress from being successfully sued for 'wrongdoing.' Its purpose is to keep people from being so reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions if they made some mistake in treatment.

 

Obligation to Help Someone in Trouble

The common law provinces have no laws making it obligatory for people to help someone in need.

Quebec is unique in Canada in imposing a duty on everyone to help a person in peril. The duty to take action stems from the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms enacted in 1975, and the Civil Code.

The Charter contains a provision that imposes an obligation to render aid if it can be accomplished without serious risk to the good samaritan or a third person. There is still little jurisprudence interpreting these provisions.

Under the Civil Code, every person is obligated to act as a bon pere de famille, broadly defined as a reasonably prudent person. Failure to do so would amount to fault and lead to legal wrong.

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