Chinese woman got neck stuck between railings; no onlookers helped her in 30 min
A woman got her neck trapped between roadside rails in Beijing Monday morning. For about half an hour, all passersby looked on curiously without helping her. She was pronouned brain dead at local hospital this morning.
Security camera footage showed that the woman accidentally slid her neck into the 4-finger-wide space between two bars when she was leaning against it for a rest at around 9:10 am.
Crowds started to gather around her in the next half an hour, but none of them gave her a hand.
Crowds gathered around the woman.
The woman got her neck stuck between rails.
Finally, a security guard working at a nearby office building called the police. Police officers arriving at the scene pulled her out and rushed her to the nearby hospital. Witnesses said at the time of the rescue she was already unconscious and foaming at the mouth. This morning, she was pronounced brain dead.
Bystander effect has been an increasingly common phenomenon in China, with several cases sparking nationwide discussion and soul-searching.
In October 2011, a 2-year-old Chinese girl in Foshan knocked down to thr ground by a truck in a hit-and-run was subsequently brushed aside by 18 passers-by and run over again by another truck. The security footage that captured the disheartening scene shocked the country as well as the world.
In other cases, it was foreign expats who in the end stepped in and helped, which many Chinese netizens see as a slap in the face to the overall apathy. An elderly woman falling on Shanghai’s street was shunned by all passersby, only to be helped by a foreign woman. Another woman who was stabbed by her own son at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport was rescued by a foreign traveller when no one else offered help.
Some blamed the prevalent bystander effect on the moral decline in the Chinese society reeking of materialism, whereas others say it resulted from a lack of Good Samaritan Law. On the contrary, the faulty justice system has pretty much discouraged Good Samaritans.
In 2006, a young man named Peng Yu in Nanjing was sued by an old woman he helped in the street for medical costs, who later claimed Peng Yu was the person who knocked her down. The court ruled that Peng must be at fault, because, as the court said, “According to what one would normally do in this case”, Peng would have left instead of staying with the woman for her surgical check if he didn’t do it, “His behavior obviously went against common sense.”
This ruling has been the root of all evils in the eyes of subsequent bystanders, as it taught many Chinese the lesson that helping a stranger in China doesn’t make any sense and can even cause you trouble.