Recently, iconic Spanish World Cup winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas, during practice for his current club side, Porto, suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, in his case, trained medical professionals employed by the club (and subject to obligations to assist) were at hand and administered appropriate emergency care before he was safely transported to hospital. But what if it had happened to a fan, high in the stands during a match, or travelling to or from a sporting event with no trained professionals on duty? For many people, helping a stranger who requires assistance seems like the natural thing to do, especially in an emergency. This human instinct has been a source of many life-saving interventions and heroic bystander “Good Samaritan” rescues over the years.
Like a number of other jurisdictions1, the UAE, with its expanding sports and events market, is recognising the need to encourage this type of behaviour by alleviating the fear of prosecution or civil liability. This article examines the dynamics relating to the impending enactment in the UAE of a specific “Good Samaritan” law, which has been sought for some time2. In particular, it looks at: