China has been revolted by the callous and repeated hit-and-run crushing of a little girl and the subsequent unwillingness of passers-by to so much as acknowledge her bloodied body lying in the middle of the road, but according to surveys some 86% of Chinese claim they would help such an accident victim.
In a pathetic attempt to salvage a hero from the incident a media circus has erupted around the only woman to help the girl – despite the fact she wants nothing to do with any fame arising from an act of kindness she regards as a matter of course.
There are mixed reports over what actually happened to the girl – reports range from death to recovery, although the consensus now appears to be that she is brain-dead and in critical condition, with massive injuries and poor chances for recovery. The two motorists who ran over her have since been arrested.
Chinese media has expressed moral outrage, although widely publicised cases where good Samaritans have been forced to pay the medical costs of the people they helped or accused of actually injuring them in the first place have been highlighted as a partial explanation for the evident moral vacuum which is mainland China.
Online, the reaction to the incident is mainly one of outrage, although if the results of one survey of Internet users conducted on a major Chinese portal are to be believed, the majority of Chinese would actually help such a victim:
Unhesitatingly help them and call for help from those around: 19.5%
I’d be afraid of being accused of perpetrating the crime, so I’d flee immediately: 6.9%
Wouldn’t know until I was there: 3.8%
Leave the frightening place immediately: 2.2%
Just stand around and watch: 0.6%
Pretend not to be interested and just stand around and watch: 0.6%
According to police, the girl was ignored by 18 passers-by before being helped – some simple application of probability theory suggests that with an 86% chance of someone assisting in some way, the chances of being ignored by 18 successive people are rather low, so either the girl was incredibly unlucky or the survey respondents incredibly deluded or dishonest…