• The Wait Is Over. From this thread, orders for the 2023 BladeForums Traditional Knife are open & here's your handy order button.
    OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS $200 ea, one per household, must have been a member prior to 3/2023
    User Name

First aid for your opponent

Jan 11, 1999
Got this from a professionally trained knifer/martial artist.

One of the first things he was taught was first aid for a knife wound not just for himself, but for his opponent.

If you've succeeded in taking the fight out of someone with a cut(s), apply some first aid to minimize the bleeding. He may not be able to take care of himself for a variety of reasons (incapacitated, disorientation, shock, etc.). Why let him possibly bleed to death unnecessarily.

Of course if you've managed to take out a major artery there just isn't enough time...
(about ten minutes I believe).

This is a humane thing to do, no sense in killing when it can be avoided. And your chances in court (legally defending yourself at the time) should be enhanced considerably by your actions.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
According to Chinese tradition, you would then be responsible for that person for the rest of his criminal life.

'Course this ain't China.

(Half tongue in cheek. Half.)

Save his life so he can sue your pants off. That is American tradition. No tongue in cheek.

How about learning to make it look like you were trying to save his life, in case there are witnesses?

(.5% TIC

I am surprised that this has never come up before, as it is a subject upon which I have meditated for some time.

You see, I am an Emergency Dept. physician (as if you all don't know already). Thus, my life is dedicated to preserving life; taking life is something I would certainly not do except in the gravest of circumstances. To preserve my life, or that of others.

First, perhaps some of you don't know that there is absolutely no LEGAL obligation for any health care professional to treat a person with whom they came into contact by chance. That is, more clearly, if I am walking down the sidewalk, and someone collapses in front of me, I have NO LEGAL obligation to do anything. I can step right over him and keep walking. Legally. Of course, the moral imperative is such that I would treat the person, as nearly all medical personnel would do.

However, suppose I am attacked by someone unexpectedly, and defend myself. When the smoke clears, and the attacker is down, what then? Let's skip the easy scenario, where the perp has suffered acute multifocal traumatic lead poisoning; no matter what I do, he is dead. But, suppose I get caught with nothing but two or three knives?

I am going to try my best to kill him. I will as rapidly and as well as I can, cut everything I can reach. I'm a 54 yo. somewhat obese guy who's had a heart attack. My only hope of survival is with all out attack. So, I cut him up, and amazingly, win (by which I mean I have less trauma then he does, and he has stopped attacking me).

What do I do then? I get on my cell phone and call 911, that is what. I do not treat him. I don't stand on his neck, but I don't touch him at all.

I am in no mental state to be able to do so, and this person, by attacking me, has freed me from any obligation to use my training to preserve his life, IMHO. I am NOT going to stand before a jury and explain why I didn't apply a tourniquet correctly, or why I didn't properly treat his sucking chest wound. I am not going to give some slick lawyer the chance to confuse a jury about just who it was with the callous disregard for life.

I will sit in front of that jury and say that at that moment, I was in shock. So, I let him bleed. Besides, I was injured also, and I DID call 911. I was having chest pain as well, and took nitroglycerine. I was too emotionally distraught to give the police more than an extremely brief description of what happened; I did seek an attorney's advice on whether I had acted correctly, and I did so promptly. Really, I was so devastated from being attacked I wasn't thinking too clearly, and so on.

So, like the Stones' album title, I 'Let It Bleed.'

Walter Welch MD, Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine
I agree with Walt -- stand back and call 911.

I'm extremely hesitant to expose myself to a stranger's blood or other bodily fluids anyway; there's no freaking way I'm going to wade into somebody I had to cut. It's bad enough that there's a potential for exposure just during the act of self-defense.

Walt, Walt,
You bring up a great point. In fact, my first thought upon reading the first post echoed Thaddeus and yours combined. Suppose I get jumped. I defend myself, much to the physical dismay of the attacker. He is down, I render what aid I can, yet he passes on anyways. I can see slimeball lawyer try to convince a jury that not only did I injure my attacker, I hastened his demise, MFR license notwithstanding. Now the family not only wants to sue me, but those that trained me in any type of a martial art, AND those who "poorly" trained me in whatever level of medical skills I have. Yuck.
Upon more consideration, step back, take a deep breath, call 911. "Your honor, I was in such a state of emotional distress and psychological trauma after being attacked, I was afraid that any assistance I might have rendered would harm my assailant." Or something like that. Very good and interesting question, one that I, too, have thought about in the past, but now more in depth.
Walt's in a different position to the rest of us. If he goes to help but makes a mistake (for whatever reason and no matter how small) - that suddenly becomes professional incompetence, and will cost him dearly in court. And it WILL go to court, no doubt about it at all.

Now, I'm not trained at all. If I try to help and make a mistake, that's just because I don't know any better.
Whole lot of legal difference there.

But if Walt was here in Western Australia he'd be in trouble - we have a law which says you *must* give assistance to anyone who needs it to the best of your ability. Not doing so is a crime, and will bring charges against you.
Laws like that are a slap in the face to individual liberty and responsibility -- but that's a rant better saved for the politics forum.

Walter is dead on. (pardon the pun)
This is an issue I have faced several times, and in addition, there are many other factors to consider before aiding your attacker.

1. There is always one MORE weapon than you can see.
You will be surprised how motivated a dirtbag will be to finish you off, even when breathing his dying breath.

2. There is always one more attacker than you can see.
You may have more things to worry about than the person you just took care of. It never ceases to amaze me at how many friends and family the worst P.O.S. can have. Someone our world is much better off without, can be a pillar of the community somewhere else.

3. Who are you with that you need to secure.
You may need to clear friends and loved ones from the immediate danger.

4. Health concerns.
You WILL be injured, and you WILL be covered in (both of your) blood. You need to guarantee you health and safety by getting treated and cleaned up. You owe it to your loved ones not to get them sick or die yourself, months or even years after you survive the attack.

5. Legal concerns.
Say as little as possible and get your attorney up to speed. The responding units will not know what happened and will take control in order to sort things out. Go along with their program but don't say your sorry (implies regret or guilt) you had no choice, and it was unfortunate you were forced to defend your life.

Be sure you keep up situational awareness without paranoia, in order to avoid any potential problems. Train yourself do act decisively and with overwhelming force. I very sincerely hope you'll never need it.

Take Care,

Bill Perches
<a href="http://www.streetpro.com">Street Smart Professional Equipment</a>
Re law: in the US you are not required to render assistance to anyone you find in need, and if you choose to you are liable for any injury you cause. That applies whether you're a doctor or not.

In some other countries you are required to render assistance and in those countries you are not liable for any injury you inadvertantly cause. I'm not sure what the law is in those countries on giving first aid to someone who just tried to kill you. I think even those countries don't require you to try to help anyone if it involves substantial risk to your own life.

Re giving first aid to an attacker, I can hardly imagine how he could convince me that even though he just tried to kill me he is now suddenly as gentle as a lamb and won't kill me while I'm bandaging him up. Even if he's unconscious or appears to be he could suddenly wake up and stick a knife in my back. I don't know; if there's no one else around to help him and it doesn't look like anyone is going to arrive soon and he appears to have given up his inclination to kill me maybe I would try to stop the bleeding ... I guess it's a judgement call. I'd be more likely to give him medical advice and maybe hand him a bandanna or something.

I think all the talk on the net about the risk of getting sued is totally out of proportion to the real risk. Most of us don't have enough money for anyone to even consider suing us, and even for those who do the risk is greatly exaggerated by rumor and gun magazine hype. How about worrying about other things for a change, like maybe ethics, or survival???

-Cougar Allen :{)
If you at least call 911 I guess the powers that be can't use a Good Samaritan law against you.