The Caramel Crunch (29 February 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You are driving (or travelling) to an important event and you are late. You see a fellow traveller have an accident. There are a lot of other travellers nearby who might have also seen the incident. What would you do?

I’m afraid I have a wishy-washy answer again this week.

Whether my event was important or not, my first resort would make sure that whoever had the accident is receiving assistance, then I would probably carry on my way.

In fact, similar things have happened to me in my local city since the stroke. I don’t recall anything happening before. I have twice (separate occasions) seen people recently collapsed in the street. Both times, I have been hurrying (as only I can) for my bus home. It has really been the only practical bus I can get – there was a later bus, which was 90 minutes later and which would have dropped me further from home. Fortunately, both of these people were already receiving assistance, so I have carried on my way.

The reason I say this is because I don’t have any medical knowledge and the only thing I could really bring to the party would be a cellphone. I’m disabled myself so even if I got down on my knees to help, I’d never get back up again without someone else assisting me! I certainly don’t have the balance to help somebody up off the ground. But I could make a phone call.

The question becomes interesting when the person on the floor is not already receiving any help. Would I try to assist?

I’m not sure. How important is my important event? Unmissable? Life or death? I might be tempted to carry on my way and hope that somebody else came to their assistance. But there again, you can’t really just do nothing, can you?

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

9 thoughts on “The Caramel Crunch (29 February 2020)”

    1. Thanks, Wendi. You posted a real-world version of this same question on your own blog, didn’t you? I like to respond to Caramel’s questions in a post of my own, just because it gives me fewer restrictions than a comment does. On the question itself, I think it is important to ask “am I able to help” (half the time the answer would be no) before I address the question “should I stop what I’m doing and help”. Beyond that, as I say, I am wishy-washy.

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  1. I think you illustrated well that there could be very different scenarios.
    If I was on foot, I think I would be much more likely to stop. I have done so a number of times.

    But I remember a couple of incidents when driving on a motorway when I realized how useless I would be if I did stop. I did not have a mobile phone. I knew nothing about mechanics. I was a lone driver, driving a car that belonged to someone else (never owned my own car, but I have been insured to drive cars belonging to family and employers) and I concerned that I could add to the problem by pulling over on a busy motorway and running along the hard shoulder just to show I was worried but without any practical help to offer, other than encouragement.

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  2. For me that would be an easy one. As by law you are obligated to help a person in need, I would check it out. When I see that other people are helping and tell me that an ambulance has been called and that they don’t need anything more, I would go to my event. When I’m really in a hurry and I see that people are attending, I’m off. I can’t be expected to behave like a ‘control police’ to check on others and their duties.
    The first thing to keep in mind, when you think about trying someone in a dangerous/needy situation is safety. You need to be safe first, otherwise you can’t help the other person. In a lot of occasions all we can do is call 911 and describe the situation as best as possible and follow their instructions. What you could do (when the injured person is alone), is to ask someone else for help and be of a moral assistance.

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  3. I have heard of that law, I think. The first person has to stop, the second person does not, is that correct?
    We have not a law in place for humans, but there is one similar here for animals, for road-kill (i.e. where an animal is killed by a car). The person actually driving the car is not allowed to take the animal home to eat it, but anybody subsequently passing it is allowed to do so.

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