Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?
Wang Yue, 2, is treated at a hospital in China on Sunday after being hit by two cars. She died Friday.
October 21st, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?

Exchange of the Morning:

"Someone please tell me things are different in the USA."–PointNoted
"Things are quite different here. For one thing, we tend to value human life a lot more."–ShovelingSnw

Chinese toddler dies a week after being hit by cars, ignored by passersby

A Chinese toddler who was hit by two cars and ignored by more than a dozen people before rescue died Friday. The video footage sparked a global outcry about the state of morality in China's fast-changing society. CNN.com readers argued over whether Americans were any better, while some identifying as Chinese or Chinese-American responded.

elfster said, "My heart sank seeing the video in its entirety. The van continued forward upon striking her the first time knowing they ran over a child. It is unthinkable, callous, apathy at its worst. She sustained some serious injuries when the rear wheels rolled over her torso, not to mention the truck that ran over her legs 8 minutes later. To watch passerbys on foot, on motorcycles, and in vehicles look and leave her there is repulsive."

CaitieLady08 said, "I know, I watched it too. Jaw-dropping. I don't understand at all!" Einstein1111 said, "I wonder if this is a general disregard for life in China or if it was the fact that the child was female. It is well known that females are not as 'valuable' in China. I would like to know the thought process on ignoring a severely wounded child in China."

paulbark said, "Lack of bystanders helping is not unique to China. It often happens in the U.S. and elsewhere. Oddly, the more bystanders there are, the less likely someone is to get help from anyone. It's called 'diffusion of responsibility.' " amlesser said, "The 'bystander effect' is a well-documented psychological phenomenon; this has nothing to do with China or human rights."

ken1010 said, "This exact same thing happened in Connecticut where a guy was hit by two cars in broad daylight and people ignored it. Granted, it was an elderly man and not a toddler, but still it shows that we aren't in any position to point fingers as if we have superior moral values."

Some readers said an earlier Chinese court case had made many hesitant to interfere. qdbw said, "This is deeply troubling. As a Chinese, I feel ashamed. However, let me give you some background. There has been multiple instances in China where people who tried to help others who fell on the street were later accused by the injured. In one such instance, the court determined that the person who tried to help must be guilty. Otherwise, he wouldn't have tried to help. He was ordered to pay a large amount to the injured old lady."

CherriH said, " 'Nanjing judge' refers to the infamous 2006 case of a man named Peng Yu who helped a woman to the hospital after she had fallen only to have the old woman accuse him of knocking her down. The Nanjing judge in that case ultimately ruled that common sense dictated that only the person who hit her would take her to the hospital, setting a precedent that continues only further discourages and reinforces many Chinese people's wariness to help others in similar situations.

liuconsis said, "I think in China, we know what is right, but sometimes we dare not to do that, such as criticizing the president, the premier, is that the ting we should do? Sure. But dare we? We dare not, because we are afraid, losing job or even going into jail. That's the main problem, and can we trust our policeman? I think in American are not more upright, but they are more brave. They have a clean government or policeman to trust and rely on, do we have in China? What are the officials doing everyday? We cannot supervise them, because we don't have freedom."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

For those of you who would like to share news and comments that may be off topic, there is now a site where you can do just that. Here's the link:

Open Thread

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Kumar

    Hmm... The HEN Chinese, i am not surprised. What more you can expect of them. To make matters worst, the illogical local laws and their corrupt enforcements. Pathetic.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kumar

    By standers phenomina ?!?!?!.. ofcourse there are.. in certain situations.. it happens.. but not in all the cases, and it is also rare and random.. But this one.. a child in a blood bath.. i dont think any humane heart will just pass by. Ofcourse , if one is less of a human.. That happens. And then you are talking about HEN chinese.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. vera

    I just watched a program on tv about animals that saved the life of a human.....and cried as I thought about how much more compassion a silverback gorilla had for an injured human child than these so called 'humans' had for the little girl bleeding in the street. The natural instinct is to want to do something to help, but this instinct has obviously been damaged, and not just in China

    October 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lizzie

    Sick, how could they. In China they choose the boys over the girls and they are only allowed one child and if one of the happens to be a girl than the other one is chosen to be part if the "family." This so called "community" is a disgrace to mother earth and this is a place where we are "funding" this kind of stuff this needs to be stopped, its just... SICK!

    October 23, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jen

    R.I.P baby Yueyue.

    This is a horrible tragedy. Where is the love for humankind?

    Thank you Mrs.Chen Xianmei, the only person who tried to save her, out of 18 passerby’s. Please don't listen to the people that are saying you helped the child for money or fame...they are mentally unbalanced. You did the right thing, and your country should treat you like the hero that you are!

    My condolences to the family and friends of baby Yueyue, may she never be forgotten, I know I will never forget her…

    May this tragedy that was viewed by the world be a terrible reminder, that this
    form of behavior- the total lack of regard for human life- is the lowest, most uneducated, cowardly, and barbaric behavior a society could display.
    It represents their values, and a lack of basic education on human empathy, compassion, and courage on doing what is morally right. More education is needed on human rights.

    Where was baby Yueyue, respect for her precious life from her fellow citizens?

    October 23, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. cheng

    It was horrible and should not happened. My question is where were the perents, and how could the perents let the girl walk on the street by herself.

    October 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 208blonde

    BTW Phil, yoy did not have to tell us you were not American, or white, I could already tell.

    October 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4