Does It Pay to Be a Good Samaritan?
Several states have already enacted Good Samaritan laws and now New Jersey is trying to do the same. Under the Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act, people who call emergency services for someone overdosing would not be prosecuted. This bill would encourage people who see someone overdosing to call 911 without the fear of getting arrested, prosecuted or convicted for any drug charges.
However, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill, saying that it would protect people who don’t deserve to be protected. People who supply the drugs to the overdosing person put them in harm’s way should not be protected nor be considered heroes. However, the families that have lost loved ones to overdose beg to differ. If this bill were in place, perhaps their loved ones would have survived the overdose.
Both sides agree that something needs to be done about this problem. However, the longer they wait to find common ground, the more people will die from overdoses. Let’s hope they figure out a compromise soon.
What do you think about the Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act?