Australian Institute of Criminology

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Heroin overdoses and duty of care

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 188

Paul Williams and Gregor Urbas

ISBN 0 642 24215 1 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, February 2001


This paper presents results from a national survey of Australians which canvassed reporting behaviours of witnesses to heroin overdoses and why some of those overdoses were not reported to ambulance or other medical professionals for assistance. The authors describe the legal consequences of not calling for medical assistance and then consider policy implications.