Ontario’s Good Samaritan Laws – Everything You Need to Know

When faced with a life-threatening emergency, you might hesitate to intervene for fear of legal consequences.

However, in Ontario, there are Good Samaritan Laws in place to protect those who step up to help in critical situations.

These laws offer legal safeguards to individuals who provide assistance in emergencies, ensuring they are not held liable for their actions as long as they act responsibly.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore Ontario’s Good Samaritan Laws, what they entail, and the conditions that apply.

Understanding the Good Samaritan Laws

Good Samaritan Laws are a set of legal principles designed to protect individuals who voluntarily come to the aid of someone in distress.

These laws are intended to encourage people to assist others without fearing legal repercussions if they make mistakes while providing help.

While the specifics of Good Samaritan Laws can vary from one jurisdiction to another, they share a common goal – fostering a sense of responsibility and compassion in the community.

It’s important to note that Good Samaritan Laws can differ within various provinces. For example, in Canada, Quebec is the only province that legally compels bystanders to help in emergencies.

However, in provinces like Ontario, individuals are not obligated to assist unless they are at the scene of a motor vehicle accident.

Nevertheless, even in Ontario, if you choose to help someone in a medical emergency, you cannot be held liable if your actions inadvertently cause further harm.

Components of Good Samaritan Laws

Good Samaritan Laws are rooted in the expectation that those offering assistance will act reasonably and provide a reasonable level of care. Key components of these laws include:

Permission to Help: Always ask for the person’s permission if they are responsive and conscious. If the person is unconscious, providing help is implied consent.

Ensuring Safety: Avoid moving the person unless they are in a situation that puts them in immediate danger.

Checking for Life-Threatening Conditions: Before providing care, assess the situation for any life-threatening conditions.

Calling Emergency Services: Dial 911 or the appropriate emergency number to dispatch professional help.

Providing Reasonable Care: Offer appropriate care without engaging in reckless actions, and continue until trained help arrives.

Exceptions to Good Samaritan Laws

While Good Samaritan Laws provide essential protections, there are exceptions to these laws:

Healthcare Professionals: Medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or paramedics, are protected by Good Samaritan Laws when they provide emergency first aid services while off-duty and without access to their usual facilities and equipment. However, if their assistance is deemed grossly negligent, they may still be held liable.

Expecting Rewards: Individuals who offer assistance with the expectation of receiving rewards or recognition do not receive protection under Good Samaritan Laws.

Lack of Consent: When a conscious victim does not give their consent for aid, Good Samaritan Laws may not apply. However, in the case of unconscious victims, including those experiencing a drug overdose, consent is implied.

First Aid and CPR Training

Whether or not you have received First Aid & CPR training, the Good Samaritan Laws protect you if you provide assistance as a bystander in an emergency. These laws ensure that you are shielded from liability if you act responsibly while helping someone in need.

While First Aid & CPR training equips individuals with essential life-saving skills, it’s important to note that Good Samaritan Laws only cover actions that fall within the scope of your training.

That’s why Rescue 7 provides comprehensive CPR training and various emergency and life-saving programs.

These training sessions are designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively respond to cardiac emergencies, enhancing the overall effectiveness of AED use in critical situations.

Find out more about our programs here


Ontario’s Good Samaritan Laws are a vital part of our legal framework, encouraging individuals to lend a helping hand in emergencies without fear of legal repercussions.

These laws ensure that responsible actions taken in the spirit of compassion are protected.

In a world where quick, informed actions can save lives, understanding and utilizing Ontario’s Good Samaritan Laws can be a powerful tool for creating safer and more compassionate communities.

Contact Rescue 7 today to discover our training services and ensure you are prepared to respond to emergencies effectively. Your readiness could make a significant difference in the lives of those in need.