From In China, Don’t Dare Help the Elderly:
“In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of elderly men and women who have collapsed or suffered accidents in public spaces who then sue the good Samaritans who have tried to help them. These cases have created a genuine and widespread fear that helping a person in need will lead to personal financial loss.
“In one of the best-known, most important Chinese judicial rulings of the last decade… The court didn’t have any evidence that Peng [the Good Samaritan] committed the crime of which he was accused by Xu [injured elderly woman]. But the court, controversially, used the “daily life experience to analyze things” standard and claimed that the aid Peng gave to Xu was sufficient evidence of guilt. It wasn’t, as many outraged Chinese at the time felt, a simple act of decency.”
This aspect of Mainland Chinese society is one that shocks foreign visitors the most. In addition to our own encounters with this phenomenon, we have a whole series on about understanding the reasons for it and how to respond to it:
- The Good Samaritan with Chinese characteristics (Pt.1): examples
- The Good Samaritan with Chinese characteristics (Pt.2): explanations, excuses, & scapegoats
- (How to be a) Good Samaritan with Chinese characteristics (Pt.3)
- Breaking the ‘rules’ in China — getting involved when you know you’re not supposed to