Moral luck and the Good Samaritan : law, morality, and the duty/protection of volunteer rescuers

Maydon, Gary (2017) Moral luck and the Good Samaritan : law, morality, and the duty/protection of volunteer rescuers. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

This Thesis has been prompted by a concern for the position of First Aid volunteers (as Good Samaritans) who, when responding to emergencies act as Rescuers. The project essentially considers the concept of Rescue and particularly the Failure to Rescue as a very important sub-set of the jurisprudence of Omissions. It explores the unusual factors at play in relation to Rescues and uses these as a means to re-examine some of the elements in the persistent confrontation of Law and Morality. It asks especially whether there is a fundamental Duty to Rescue? and if so, the nature of that Duty?. Is it a legal duty (Criminal and/or Civil) or is it simply a moral duty? or is there no duty at all? The question of how Moral Luck impinges in this area is specifically examined given the wide ranging factors that come together to create a Rescue situation (most, or many, of which are entirely matters of luck - and ill luck at that). From a review of previous literature, the concept of Rescue does not appear to have featured to any significant degree in the debates about Law and Morality, and, in particular, the question of whether and to what extent Moral Luck should influence the Duty to Rescue appears to be an original line of enquiry. The project also reviews the current position in relation to English Law and compares this in outline to the position in some other leading Western jurisdictions. It also looks at various initiatives relating to the law of negligence in England & Wales and considers the degree to which volunteer rescuers are/ should be protected under English Law. The project hypothesises that a specific ‘Good Samaritan Law’ is required to protect volunteer rescuers, despite the very recent enactment of the ‘Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Law
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 18:17
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 18:17
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/241

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