In a previous post, I wrote about how a two-year-old child in China was the victim of a terrible hit-and-run incident. News reports now state that the precious child is brain dead, after being in critical condition for hours.
Many will hear of this news and begin to debate China’s seemingly apathetic attitude when tragedy occurs right in front of its citizens. While writing earlier on this topic, I discovered that what raised many eyebrows the most wasn’t just that this little one had been hit by a vehicle — twice mind you. It was the fact that close to 20 people had walked right past the child.
At first, it seemed as though the Chinese citizens themselves were to blame for the perceived apathy taking place across the country. But, when taking a closer look, I found the real culprit in the matter: the Chinese government’s ill-conceived policies.
Reports indicate those wanting to step in and help in the midst of a tragic circumstance are looked at suspiciously by law enforcement officials as potential suspects in a crime and not as individuals simply looking to help as first responders. As such, many Chinese citizens would rather let someone go without assistance than be wrongly accused of incidents or injuries for which they weren’t responsible. In fact, right now in China, there are no laws that protect individuals for being “Good Samaritans.”
Reports online even tell the tale of a Chinese taxi driver who while trying to be a Good Samaritan to a man claiming to be very ill was himself arrested for not having proper license for his vehicle. The culture of suspicion and blame are so rampant in China that the people are paralyzed with fear to step up and help.
This is worse than just bad policy; efforts like these can destroy the human spirit. The principles of giving and compassion are innately tied to us, and having laws that are designed to prevent either is simply wrong.
This tragedy will remain in the public eye for quite some time and force the Chinese government to take a hard look at their repressive regime. In the meantime, officials will have to bear the burden of their policies having such an impact on this child’s life and family. I pray they make that change soon.