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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 19, 2021 01:25 PM
From: Senator James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Duty to Assist
Please join me in sponsoring legislation that imposes an affirmative duty on any person to provide reasonable assistance to another person who is subject to serious physical harm.  This legislation will require, at a minimum, that a person contact emergency response personnel  when they see another person who has suffered physical harm at the scene of an accident or a crime.

The legislation was brought to my attention by one of my constituents who referenced a Minnesota statute that requires a duty to assist another who is in danger of harm.  During the time when I was reviewing and drafting the legislation, a shocking example of the need for such legislation occurred here.  This weekend, news reports detailed a sexual assault occurring on a commuter train where bystanders did not contact 911 or emergency services.  The following is a link to that story:  ‘No One Did Anything’: Woman Raped on SEPTA Train and Riders Didn’t Call 9-1-1, Police Say – NBC10 Philadelphia (nbcphiladelphia.com)

The legislation makes it a misdemeanor of the third degree for failure to report that a person is in grave harm or the victim of a crime. 

Introduced as SB1033