Bad Samaritan Laws

Welcome to Professor Zachary D. Kaufman’s database of “Bad Samaritan Laws”: statutes that impose a legal duty to assist others in peril through intervening directly (also known as “the duty to rescue”) or notifying authorities (also known as “the duty to report”). This database–a full description of which is available here–currently contains more than 200 past, present, or proposed Bad Samaritan laws from around the world and throughout history.

Citation of Database

Preferred citation of this database in Bluebook format is: Bad Samaritan Laws, Zachary D. Kaufman , (last visited [date last visited]). Preferred citation in Chicago Manual of Style format is: Zachary D. Kaufman, “Bad Samaritan Laws,” accessed [date last visited],


This database will be updated periodically. If you would like to suggest an addition or amendment to this database, please contact Professor Kaufman using this form.

Glossary and Acknowledgments

A glossary of terms used in this database is available here. Professor Kaufman gratefully acknowledges contributors to this database here.

Related Publications

Professor Kaufman is currently writing a series of publications about Bad Samaritan laws, bystanders, and upstanders that will culminate in his next book (under contract with Cambridge University Press). His publications to date on the topic, which draw on this database, include:

  1. Police Policing Police (article published by the George Washington Law Review)
  2. Digital Age Samaritans (article published by the Boston College Law Review)
  3. Protectors of Predators or Prey: Bystanders and Upstanders amid Sexual Crimes (award-winning article published by the Southern California Law Review)
  4. Lessons from Rwanda: Post-Genocide Law and Policy (article published by the Stanford Law & Policy Review)
  5. Policing the Police: Congress and States Should Enact Duty to Intervene Laws (op-ed published by the Dallas Morning News)
  6. Officers Should Intervene as Matter of Law, Not Just Policy (op-ed published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  7. Prosecutors Can Abuse Discretion to Seek Charges. We Propose Some Fixes (op-ed with Ken Levy published by the Chicago Tribune)
  8. Laws Needed to Encourage Assisting Those in Peril (op-ed published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  9. Prod Bystanders to be “Upstanders” like Darnella Frazier (op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle)
  10. What Makes People Save Lives? Learning from Upstanders and Bystanders (op-ed published by the New York Daily News)
  11. No Cover for Abusers; California Must Close Gap in its Duty-to-Report Law (op-ed published by the San Francisco Chronicle)
  12. When Speaking Up is a Civic Duty (op-ed published by the Boston Globe)
  13. Give the Nobel Peace Prize Posthumously (essay published by Foreign Policy magazine)
  14. Islam is (Also) a Religion of Peace (essay published by Foreign Policy magazine)