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
Date posted: April 18, 2008