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EMTALA: Its Application to Newborn Infants

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

April 16, 2008

ABA Health eSource, Vol. 4, No. 7, 2008

The application of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to extremely premature newborn infants has long been a source of concern to pediatricians and neonatologists. Preston v. Meriter Hospital is the first case to directly address the special status of newborns. In Preston, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals effectively narrowed the application of EMTALA to newborn infants, holding that EMTALA categorically does not apply to any infant born to an inpatient mother.

But the operative facts in Preston predate the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA). In light of BAIPA's alteration of key statutory terms, it is prudent to comply with EMTALA obligations for all newborn infants anywhere in the hospital unless or until a good faith decision is made to admit the infant after its birth.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 5

Keywords: EMTALA, BAIPA, medical futility, Baby K

JEL Classification: K32

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Date posted: April 18, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Pope, Thaddeus Mason, EMTALA: Its Application to Newborn Infants (April 16, 2008). ABA Health eSource, Vol. 4, No. 7, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1121373

Contact Information

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)
Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )
875 Summit Avenue
Room 320
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-695-7661 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com
Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Saint Georges University ( email )
West Indies
HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com
Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )
47 New Scotland Ave
MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com
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