Draft United Arab Emirates law aims to protect bystanders, increase intervention

In December, with the help of the American Heart Association and other groups, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Health and Prevention approved a draft federal Good Samaritan Law that will protect bystanders helping in emergency situations, like providing CPR to someone in cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and often occur outside of a hospital. Every minute CPR is delayed a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10%. Immediate action by a bystander after a cardiac arrest can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Unfortunately, many don’t assist in situations like this due to lack of training or fear of causing further injury. This Good Samaritan Law is intended to reduce hesitation to assist and offer legal protection to bystanders. It states that "no criminal or civil appeal shall be made to any person who has provided in good faith, assistance or relief to another person who is in an emergency situation".

This law is customized for the UAE and is based on the International Good Samaritan Law. The draft federal law is currently with the Cabinet for further action.