The ‘Bad Samaritan’ Paradigm

14 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 16, 2010


This essay will attempt to show that the disparity between the rule of law and the dictates of morality is itself a product of the paradigmatic way in which the “Bad Samaritan” cases are analyzed. If we examine the cases in an entirely different way, many of the standard problems will dissolve and new alternatives will become apparent. The essay will also show that the “Bad Samaritan” paradigm is part of a larger paradigm linking the law of torts with the criminal law, which also needs to be reexamined. Finally a recommendation for dealing with the “Bad Samaritan” problem legislatively is offered.

Keywords: Tort Liability, Criminal Liability, Bad Samaritan, Good Samaritan, Duty To Warn or Rescue, Genovese Killing

JEL Classification: K40, K49, K10, K30

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, The ‘Bad Samaritan’ Paradigm (November 16, 2010). Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 5, 1976, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 10-80, Available at SSRN:

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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