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- The Bystander Effect

Last Updated: 7/22/2013

Bystander effect - the more people there are watching something go down, the less likely someone is going to take action...are you under the spell?

"The term bystander effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs, observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses."


The cesarean rate in the United states is currently (2013) over 30% and climbing. According to childbirth connection, the following are some reasons for the high cesarean section rate:

  • Low priority of enhancing women's own abilities to give birth
  • Side effects of common labor interventions
  • Refusal to offer the informed choice of vaginal birth
  • Casual attitudes about surgery and variation in professional practice style
  • Limited awareness of harms that are more likely with cesarean section
  • Incentives to practice in a manner that is efficient for providers.


Yeah BUT....whose responsibility IS it?

The Good Samaritan law is really about protecting volunteers when they give emergency aid from personal and professional liability. It is designed so you cannot prosecute a physician or other healthcare worker if he should help a passerby and there is a bad outcome. Instead of using the Good Samaritan law, they should have arrested these characters for failure to perform their responsibility in the "Duty to Rescue" laws as those fit the situation more accurately.

There are legal requirements for a duty to rescue but even if there wasn't, shouldn't we all realize an ethical responsibility? Don't people have a moral duty to rescue other people in distress by virtue of their common humanity, regardless of their abilities or their knowledge base but only on the basis of the victim's distress and need?

Don't we ALL have a duty to rescue arise when another person is facing a hazardous situation especially if it is in our power to do so? The duty to rescue laws are rarely applied, and are generally ignored by citizens and lawmakers alike. What about you? What do you do when you see people headed towards the cliff of destruction? Do you use your voice?

Seconds count........


The most important thing is to step UP....don't step OUT of the picture......

Going to the cesarean store, where more than one out of three births are cesareans (and 9 out of 10 previous cesareans are repeats) you are NOT GOING TO PURCHASE an unhindered birth, they don't sell them there..... 

Birth matters....it matters to the mother, it matters to the baby, it matters to the rest of society! Don't watch these mothers and babies fall over that cliff. Don't fall victim to the "bystander effect"....nobody else is going to do it for you. You ARE responsible. For every person you see and know that walks into the cesarean store, if you don't tell them, part of the responsibility rests on YOUR shoulders. Ouch, that hurts, doesn't it? If you do it, it WILL cost you... I've made the decision, I'm doing whatever it takes... it doesn't matter what it costs me and it is costing me. More on THAT later.....

NEVERMIND the rest of society, NEVERMIND THEM.....What will YOU do? You can start by speaking the truth and doing it LOUD and CLEAR.

Some sources used:


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