October 23, 2011

Good Samaritanism in China and in Calumet, Pa.






     What can a fifty-seven year old trash collector in China and a forty-two year old woman in Calumet, Pennsylvania have in common?


    On October 16, 2011, More than a dozen pedestrians and motorists passed by as (two-year old) Wang Yue lay writing in pain…after she was hit by a van at a wholesale market  in the southern city of Foshan in Guangdong province (China)…As Yue lay in the street, another van ran over her…More bystanders walked by…

     A 57-year old trash collector eventually moved Yue to safety. The trash collector pleaded with passers-by to no avail until the girl’s mother arrived and called an ambulance.*

Two-year old girl watching trains

Yue died early Friday, October 21, 2011.***


     On the evening of June 1, 2010, Stacey Feiling was driving through Calumet, Pennsylvania (not far from my community), when her car was flagged down by a stranger, Janet Piper. When she stopped to help, Janet’s husband, Raymond Piper, opened Stacey’s car door and fatally shot her in the face.


     These Good Samaritan incidents occurred in China and Southwestern Pennsylvania, but they could have occurred anywhere on the earthen globe.

     The trash man didn’t send the two-year-old child to a hospital at his expense. And Stacey was fatally shot for stopping to assist a woman flagging her down for help (were there any cars that passed by Janet, ignoring her plea for help?).

     Otherwise, the two stories contain elements similar to the Biblical Good Samaritan parable found in Luke 10:25-37: a victim needing help and being passed by until one person is sufficiently brave to stop and offer assistance.


     While no one stopped to help toddler Yueyue on October 16, 2011,, two million persons paused to flood the Internet with condolence messages such as: Your life woke up this ignorant society. Thanks to little Yueyue for letting us stop our fast-paced steps so we can wait for our soul.***    

Two-year old child with mother, playing and cuddling

    Some lawyers are trying to draft “good Samaritan” legislation that would penalize people who fail to help in a situation fo this type and indemnify them from lawsuits if their efforts are in vain.***

     Pennsylvania already has Good Samaritan legislation:

General rule.–Any person who renders emergency care, first aid or rescue at the scene of an emergency, or moves the person receiving such care, first aid and rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care, shall not be liable to such person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering the emergency care, first aid or rescue, or moving the person receiving the same to a hospital or other place of medical care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the person receiving the emergency care, first aid or rescue or being moved to a hospital or other place of medical care (more at


     Although stopping to help a stranger can be dangerous there are elements of personal protection in being some situations of being a Good Samaritan.

     On a nice day in 1984, in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a man rang the doorbell of our Redan Circle home. He requested to use the telephone to call for help for a disabled automobile.

     I wouldn’t let him in the house. However, I offered to make the call for him, which I did.

     Shortly thereafter, we heard helicopters overhead. I heard later that they were searching for a man who had climbed the roof of a nearby home and tried to break and enter. A shoe salesman, he was seeking out the obviously pregnant woman he had waited on earlier with the intention of raping her.

     At the time, we had a very pregnant foster woman living in our home. She normally sat on the small front porch at the time the man rang our doorbell. Fortunately, she was inside the house at the time.


     Perhaps the best way to end this post are the words of Wang Yang, a Guangdong official, who told the New China News Agency We should look into the ugliness in ourselves with a dagger of conscience and bite the soul-searching bullet,***
    And we must ask ourselves if we have the bravado in us to display the heroism demonstrated by both the Chinese trash collector and Stacey Feiling.

     I question whether I do.


*Hit-run sparks outcry in China, Greensburg Tribune-Review, October 19, 2011, pp. A2





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1 Comment »

  1. !!!! Do I ????????

    Comment by Joan — October 23, 2011 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

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