Reimburse Good Samaritans?

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tonka97

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Another thread (closed) had this post re: reimbursement for expenses expended by a good samaritan:

"Why should they? I don't think anyone was forced to offer their assistance at the beginning of this thing. They were helping in a situation that is of their expertise."

I believe that statement represents a lot of sentiment held by the public. Is it ethically sound?

If I save (or attempt to save) your life by applying my one-use/disposable AED electrode patches, and provide you with oxygen, do you have an ethical duty to financially compensate me for my actual expenses, ie new patches and an oxygen refill?

Do many grateful survivors have a blind spot and fail to even consider restitution?
 

ScubaSteve

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Ethical duty? Definitely not. Might someone easily overlook such a small point? Very easily IMO. After all, they were dead and are now alive.......bigger things to think about. If you are that concerned about your costs then tell them.....I bet if you saved their life they would not think any the less of you.

Now had you sunk your $5 million dollar yacht to reach the bottom of the ocean to retrieve their lifelss carcass in order to expend your solid gold and one times use lift bag to get you both to the top where you tore the pacemaker from your chest to use as power for EFD which then cost you hundreds of thousands in hospital bills.....I bet most would recognize the financial impact of your actions. Your $30 EFD pads and $20 worth of oxygen......(I am guessing at costs obviously) might get honestly overlooked.
 
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vladimir

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I have been privileged enough to have saved somebody's life, albeit at no cost to myself. Doing so improved my life in ways that would be hard to quantify. If the opportunity arises again, I will do it in a heartbeat, with no regard to the cost, financial or otherwise. If somebody saved my life I would offer to repay them for any expense. If I don't survive, please don't ask my heirs for the money, they will have their hands full, and the fabulous thing you tried to do will be cheapened.
 

Cave Diver

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I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to be compensated for the expenses they incur attempting to save your life. But I wouldn't let the cost of consumables stop me from using it if someone needed it.

Using your AED example, if I choose to get trained in the use of one and carry it with me, I wouldn't expect you to reimburse the cost of it if i used it on you, but it would be a really nice gesture for you to replace the consumables.

Same thing with emergency O2. If you need it, I wouldn't expect you pay me the cost of the kit, but offering to have the bottle filled back up so it's ready to be used again seems reasonable.

But what I would *rather* see, is that if such an event occurred, that you buy your *own* to carry with you and have available in case you, or someone else needs it in the future.

In the case of the recent incident at Vortex, I don't think a donation to cover expenses for travel, fills, or time off work to those who initially and rapidly responded to the call for searchers is out of line. And I firmly believe that any divers that the family called back and asked to search further after they have already exhausted the evident possibilities should be compensated.
 

Wookie

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My answer to the question (and I have donated a few pads) is that no, the person you saved (or tried to save) is not obligated to reimburse you for the out-of-pocket costs. In the United States, Emergency Response is provided by the county and taxpayers. As it should be. What a first aid provider with an AED provides is a volunteer service.

What sucks worse is when you transfer a victim to a fast Coast Guard vessel. Of course, you hand off the AED case so the Coast Guard can continue to try to revive the victim. Those proud boys in blue might not like the placement of the pads, so they rip off the ones you (as a trained responder) applied, and apply another set. Those don't get reimbursed either.

It's pretty gauche to ask the victims family to reimburse you for a $40 set of pads. They have other things on their minds.
 

ScubaSteve

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I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to be compensated for the expenses they incur attempting to save your life. But I wouldn't let the cost of consumables stop me from using it if someone needed it.

Using your AED example, if I choose to get trained in the use of one and carry it with me, I wouldn't expect you to reimburse the cost of it if i used it on you, but it would be a really nice gesture for you to replace the consumables.

Same thing with emergency O2. If you need it, I wouldn't expect you pay me the cost of the kit, but offering to have the bottle filled back up so it's ready to be used again seems reasonable.

But what I would *rather* see, is that if such an event occurred, that you buy your *own* to carry with you and have available in case you, or someone else needs it in the future.

In the case of the recent incident at Vortex, I don't think a donation to cover expenses for travel, fills, or time off work to those who initially and rapidly responded to the call for searchers is out of line. And I firmly believe that any divers that the family called back and asked to search further after they have already exhausted the evident possibilities should be compensated.


Nice gesture does not translate into "Ethical Duty" IMO. And you have taken the scenario way past where the OP was with the Vortex scenario. Staying with the Vortex incident, I think it is easy for the family to be WAY too caught up to consider reimbursement on their own when they are desperately trying to find their son. It may not mean they would not gladly do it, but they tend to have a lot on their mind. Is it fair to blame the family for not thinking about it? Not in my opinion. Would it be acceptable for those divers to say that they cannot afford to come back unless costs are covered.....nothing wrong with it IMO.
 
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Wookie

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I have been privileged enough to have saved somebody's life, albeit at no cost to myself. Doing so improved my life in ways that would be hard to quantify.

I think that that is the nicest and best way I've ever seen it put. My wife has had the privilege of saving a life, I've not been as fortunate. I guess the moral of that story is, if you're going to die in front of me, you'd better hope my wife is next to me.
 

Kevin Carlisle

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Interesting posts. Wookie if I am ever there and start to die please call your wife :D

In everything that happened at vortex, I think most of us felt that being there and helping made the cave communty look good. Money was never a part of it. We all sacrificed time and money. Personally it cost me about 500 bucks over 2 dives. Being I am a single parent thats a lot. It wasnt enough however to look at the parents and accept money they offered. Now on the flip side, if I was to go back for a third time without any new leads, I would have to ask for travel expenses be paid. We are not talking about saving a life, but findng one that is already dead. But thats just my 2 cents worth.
 

NC Kelly

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Going just off a good samaritan incident. If an individual receives any sort of payment for helping in an emergency situation the good samaritan law becomes void.

Would it stop me from helping the injured person of course not, but I wouldn't accept anything from them, that could be misconstrued as payment.
 

Wookie

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Nice gesture does not translate into "Ethical Duty" IMO. And you have taken the scenario way past where the OP was with the Vortex scenario. Staying with the Vortex incident, I think it is easy for the family to be WAY too caught up to consider reimbursement on their own when they are desperately trying to find their son. It may not mean they would not gladly do it, but they tend to have a lot on their mind. Is it fair to blame the family for not thinking about it? Not in my opinion. Would it be acceptable for those divers to say that they cannot afford to come back unless costs are covered.....nothing wrong with it IMO.

Sorry, I did not read any of the Vortex thread, and only took the initial post at face value, specifically regarding AED pads. I expanded that (in my mind) to include gloves, gauze pads, and the contents of an O2 bottle. I had no thought (and refuse to comment) on anything that happened at Vortex.
 
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