HomeOP-EDDo bystanders have a right to intervene when there is trouble?

Do bystanders have a right to intervene when there is trouble?

I have always been told it is easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble later. The definition of trouble is forever wavering because everyone has their own opinion on what qualifies. I rather not put myself in a situation that could potentially put me in a worse place than the original people involved. However, I know what goes around comes around, and not helping when you are needed could turn around on you later. There is a moral obligation to help when you know you can be beneficial to someone who needs you.

One way to think about it is, if you were in trouble would you want a bystander to intervene to help you? I would want all of the help I can get, but I know I would not do the same for any and every person in distress that I see. There are levels of trouble from something as simple as bullying to something as severe as a shoot-out. Standing up for someone who is getting harassed is an entirely different ball game than a shoot-out. Being a hero in a dangerous situation could cost you your life. The best thing you can do in those situations is call 911, which is what they are trained to handle.

According to www.forpeopleforjustice.com, “Morally, many would argue that watching someone who needs help and refraining from providing it is wrong. Many would argue that it is our ethical obligation to render whatever help we can, even if it is just picking up a phone and calling 911. The idea that someone could legally see another in distress, perhaps even someone dying, and simply watch, doing nothing, conflicts with common notions of morality.” Everyone has different levels of morality. It is one thing to know you can help and not do so, but to try to be a vigilante in a situation you can not help is nugatory. If I knew I was no help in the case why would I intervene and potentially cause more trouble? I would get someone who is better qualified to be helpful.

According to www.healthline.com, “Ultimately, by helping others, you benefit too. In fact, when you do good things for others, it activates the part of your brain responsible for your reward system, and activity is reduced in the areas in your brain linked to stress.” Knowing you helped someone or were an aid to their safety would make anyone feel good. It would make a person feel better about themselves. Imagine walking away from someone in trouble. You would wonder if they are doing okay, if they are alive, and if they are still in that predicament. It is best to do what you can to help rather than walk around with guilt and regret knowing you could have saved someone.

Everyone does not feel an obligation to be a good samaritan and to each their own. There are laws in place for being a good samaritan in all 50 states which shows it is our “responsibility”
as United States’ citizens to assist those who need it. If there is a risk to your life then do not take
the opportunity to jump into problems you might not make it out of. Nevertheless, help is help.
Even if you do something as simple as calling 911 or getting people nearby to see if they know
how to help will count. You should do unto others as you would want to be treated.

Kayla Vaughn
Kayla Vaughn
Kayla Vaughn is a Sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee majoring in Criminal Justice. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2022-2023 academic year.

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