The presumption that services rendered in the preservation of life are gratuitous arises only in cases of emergency. For necessaries of life furnished in a non-emergency case, therefore, the intervenor should recover. Where the recipient is a competent adult, the acceptance of the tendered benefit results in a binding contractual obligation to pay the reasonable value thereof. But where the recipient is an infant or a person non compos mentis, the acceptance of food, clothing, or shelter cannot be regarded in every case as raising a genuine implied promise, and even when such a promise is raised it is voidable. In the case of necessaries furnished to an infant or insane person, therefore, the obligation to pay the reasonable value thereof is quasi contractual.1 It is a clear case of dutiful intervention (see ante, Sec. 194) and the obligation is everywhere recognized.2

1 The quasi contractual nature of the obligation is shown by the cases holding that an express promise to pay for necessaries more than they are reasonably worth cannot be enforced. Beeler v. Young, 1809, 1 Bibb (4 Ky.) 519 J Earle v. Reed, 1845, 10 Metc. (Mass.) 387; Locke v. Smith, 1860, 41 N. H. 346, 352.

2 Necessaries furnished infant: Nash v. Inman, [1908] 2 K. B. 1; Barnes v. Barnes, 1883, 50 Conn. 572; Watson v. Cross, 1856, 2 Duv. (63 Ky.) 147; Kilgore v. Rich, 1891, 83 Me. 305; 22 Atl. 176; 12 L. R. A. 859; 23 Am. St. Rep. 780; McConnell v. McConnell, 1909, 75 N. H. 385; 74 Atl. 875; Werner's Appeal, 1879, 91 Pa. St. 222; Bradley v. Pratt, 1851, 23 Vt. 378.