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Right To Life: Everybody's Business

Life is sacrosanct to all beings, and once lost, whether due to the negligence of man or nature, it becomes a loss that can never be compensated for.

According to Leadership, a victim, Greatness Olorunfemi, who was a passenger in a public transportation vehicle called “One Chance” in Abuja was reported on September 26, to have boarded one of the vehicles with another victim, Kike, while returning home from work. Olorunfemi was stabbed and thrown out of the moving vehicle after being extorted from all the money in her bank account.

Soon, some good Samaritans found her by the roadside and rushed her to Maitama General Hospital, where she was allegedly denied treatment on the grounds that there was no police report. Hence, she could not be treated which ultimately led to the death of the victim a few minutes later.

The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended has, by virtue of Section 33(1) categorically emphasized the “Right to Life,” and thus, no one shall be deprived of his life save in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offense for which the person had been found guilty.

The Compulsory Treatment and Case for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, also categorically provides that a person with a gunshot shall receive immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria with or without police clearance. Section 20(1) of the same act has gone ahead to criminalize any act by a health worker, health care provider, or health establishment who refuses a person's emergency treatment for any reason whatsoever.

It is quite saddening that before a person can help out an injured or accident victim, such a person has to think of the implications before rendering any assistance to avoid being held responsible for the life of the rescued person.

Redress is necessary for the community through the enforcement of the rule of law and also as part of the civic responsibility of every individual in the society to lend a helping hand to accident victims, allowing for first aid treatment. In addition, every hospital should be held accountable for not providing basic first aid treatment pending the arrival of the victim's kin.



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