Last week, a two-year-old girl wandering in the street in a market in Foshan, China, was hit by a van. The driver stopped for a moment and continued on, rolling over the girl again with the van's rear wheels. Over the course of the next seven minutes, as she lay in the street bleeding, 17 passersby walked over and around her—one truck ran over her again—without helping.
There's surveillance video of the accident and aftermath here if you want to ruin your week. Eventually a trash collector stopped to look after the girl and call an ambulance. While some reports indicated that she had died of her injuries, the Guardian says she is "braindead...and could die at any time." Why would a bicyclist ride past a dying two-year-old lying in the street, glance at her, and carry on? Why would a woman with he own child walk past a bleeding little girl without stopping? From the Guardian:
The widespread reluctance to help strangers has already lead to an anguished public debate in the country. Many say they are too scared, blaming extortion attempts by people who have accused Good Samaritans of causing their injuries –- and judges who have backed such claims. But some talked of a new moral low after seeing passersby –- including a woman holding a small girl by the hand – walk around a two-year-old lying in a pool of blood....
One [online commenter] said that while the footage was heartbreaking he would have been "numb" to Yueyue too. "Would you be willing to throw your entire family's savings into the endless whirlpool of accident compensation? Aren't you afraid of being put into jail as the perpetrator? Have you ever considered that your whole family could lose happiness only because you wanted to be a great soul?" he wrote.
For the record, it doesn't take a "great soul" to help a dying child. Just a person.