Forcing people to help

In the wake of a horrifying incident caught on video where passersby ignored a critically injured two-year-old girl who was run over by a minivan, local officials in southern China are mulling wether to create a law to force people to help when they witness an emergency.

A spate of deadly hit-and-runs and other events in China has led to ongoing questions about a decline in societal values and why Chinese people aren't more inclined to give assistance when someone is clearly injured or in trouble. Many have said high medical costs and fear of being targeted for responsibility keep bystanders from offering assistance after car accidents and other emergencies.

In Guangdong province, where security cameras captured the toddler's hit-and-run and a subsesquent 18 people passing her by last week, the question could become a legal matter. The official China Daily newspaper reports that party officials in the province are seeking public opinion on whether to initiate a law that would require bystanders to help when they can in emergencies.