Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, in pursuant to the directions of Supreme Court of India, has issued guidelines for protection from harassment of good Samaritans or bystanders, who takes victims of accident to hospital. The Union Ministry has issued a notification in this regard to be followed by hospitals, police and all other concerned authorities.
A State Government official said that as per the notification a bystander or good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident who takes an injured person to the nearest hospital should be allowed to leave immediately except after furnishing address by the eyewitness only. He shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability.
As per the guidelines, a bystander or good Samaritan who inform the police or emergency services telephonically for the person lying injured on the road, shall not be compelled to reveal his personal details. In case a bystander or good Samaritan has voluntarily stated that he is also an eye-witness to the accident and is required to be examined for the purposes of investigation by the police or during the trail, he shall be examined on a single occasion.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shall issue guidelines stating that all registered public and private hospitals are not to detain bystander or good Samaritan for demand payment for registration and admission costs, unless he is a family member or relative of the injured and the injured is to be treated immediately. Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, shall constitute ‘Professional Misconduct’ and disciplinary action would be taken against the doctor.
All public and private hospitals shall implement these guidelines and in case of non compliance or violation of these guidelines action shall be taken by the concerned authorities.