The Chinese people, as well as the rest of the world, are struggling to understand the reasoning that compelled 18 people to walk by a two year old girl who was the victim of a hit and run. The girl, Yueyue, was hit by a van while wandering through a busy market and moments later was run over by another van. The entire incident was captured by a CCTV surveillance camera and has led to much deserved criticism of the citizens who walked by the injured girl as she lay in a pool of her own blood.
Of the 18 bystanders, many denied even seeing the girl. A motorcyclist who drove away from the incident claims that it was too dim for him to notice the girl and said that he believed the cries he heard were coming from a nearby shop. One shopkeeper denies having seen the girl despite footage showing him seemingly looking at the girl before leaving the scene. The man vehemently denied seeing the girl to a Chinese newspaper and says he has been harassed by customers who viewed the footage. A woman who was walking her five year old daughter at the time stated that they saw the girl but were frightened by the blood on the road. For what it’s worth, the woman did admit that she was ashamed by her behavior.
The girl was eventually assisted seven minutes after she was first hit by a street cleaner. The street cleaner was later rewarded $3800 by the local government and the two van drivers have been arrested by the police. The girl is currently in a coma at a nearby hospital and doctors expect that if she survives, Yueyue will remain in a vegetative state.
The actions of the 18 passersby have led China’s people to question the moral fiber of the country. Some within the country assert that the nation’s morality has diminished. Others believe this incident is an example of the “corrosive effect China’s economic pursuit has had on public ethics.” Can we blame the economic pursuit of China for the abysmal sense of morality displayed by the 18 citizens? Can a nation’s economic pursuit impact the ethics of its citizens? Isn’t the reluctance of these bystanders also prevalent amongst the citizens of other nations, including the United States? (See Genovese syndrome and other instances). If the law is intended to represent the moral and ethical values of a society, is the law in societies across the world failing in upholding those values? Some areas of the world, such as the state of Vermont, have enacted Good Samaritan laws making it illegal for citizens not to lend aid. Should China, as well as others, consider enacting such laws?
Full article available here.
Extended footage of the video available here.