Friday, October 21, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Part Two of The Current
Good Samaritans - Bonnie Gamble
In the New Testament, the story of the Good Samaritan is of a kind and generous man who helps a stranger in distress. But it's not a story of a man who puts his own life in peril. In Canada this week, a funeral for a young man who risked a lot more than the original Good Samaritan.
In British Columbia, family and friends gathered to mourn the murder of teenager Jaimie Kehoe. While riding a city bus near Vancouver, he was fatally stabbed while attempting to break up a fight. We aired a clip of his father, Jason Kehoe, speaking at the funeral Wednesday.
No one admires a bystander who fails to act at a stranger's distress. In fact, many people were revolted this week after a security camera taped a traffic accident in China.
For Bonnie Gamble of Calgary, the question of whether or not to intervene is not theoretical. In 2009, she and her husband Gord were driving east of Calgary when they saw a man at the side of the road. He had a woman pinned down. She was screaming. And that was just the beginning of a harrowing experience. To tell us that story, Bonnie Gamble joined us in Calgary.
Luckily, Bonnie and Gord Gamble--and the woman they helped-- all survived. But when a situation turns violent, a Good Samaritan's intentions don't count for much. Paulette Moffatt of Ontario lost her son nearly 13 years ago. Andy Moffat was a University of Ottawa student, celebrating the end of the winter term with his pals at a local pub. The gang was getting ready to go home for the Christmas holidays. An argument broke out elsewhere in the bar, and Andy and some friends intervened. Like Jaime Kehoe, Andy Moffatt was stabbed to death. The Governor General honoured Andy posthumously with a bravery award. That's some comfort to his mother. But the pain has not gone away.
Since Andy Moffatt's death, his family has worked tirelessly to get legislation passed that would require a mandatory minimum sentences for all offenders committing crimes with knives similar to the law for mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving guns.
Good Samaritans - Eli El-Chantiry
Paulette Moffat's son tried to help -- and paid with his life. No one tried to help Curtis Brick -- and he died. Brick was lying on the ground in Vancouver's Grandview Park on a hot July day in 2009. An extraordinarily hot day. Many people in the park saw him, but didn't do anything even though he showed signs of distress. Jennifer Brousseau is a prevention worker in the area. We aired a clip with her explaining what she saw when she visited the park around 4 in the afternoon.
Jennifer Brousseau is convinced Curtis Brick would still be alive if he'd received medical care sooner. While it's understandable that inexperienced people might be reluctant to get involved in a medical crisis, just this week emergency room doctors in Canada were speaking out - saying there are times when people must intervene. A declaration from the doctors says, quote:
It must become a moral obligation and a social expectation that bystanders will perform CPR when they witness cardiac arrest. The sooner CPR is started, the more likely it is a patient will survive, according to the doctors.
Most provinces in Canada have "Good Samaritan" laws to protect people from lawsuits if something goes wrong during a rescue. Only in Quebec does a person have a duty to respond to someone in distress. But even there - a person is not required to put themselves or others in danger while attempting to intervene. In fact, police often urge people not to get involved if there's any threat to their safety because it can all go so wrong, so quickly.
These stories have all caught the attention of Eli El-Chantiry. Mr. El-Chantiry is an Ottawa City Councillor and Deputy Mayor. He's also the Chair of Ottawa's Police Services Board. He was in Ottawa.
Other segments from today's show: