Pros And Cons Of EMTALA

Decent Essays
EMTALA: Ant-Dumping Law

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) was established by Congress in 1986 and is considered the only universal legal right to health care in the United States. EMTALA was establish to prevent hospitals from “patient dumping”. Patient dumping occurs when hospitals deny treatment and transfer patients that cannot pay to public hospitals for emergency care services. The law was developed to rid communities of the unethical practices of private hospitals as they were turning patients away that could not pay to prevent themselves from providing uncompensated care to the poor. Private hospitals would in turn, defend themselves by following the “no duty” principle and then sending patients to public health facilities for health services. The “no duty” to treat principle follows the belief that there is no universal right to health services, which also means providers do not have a legal duty to provide health services. This paper will explore the long-lasting impact of EMTALA as it relates to access, cost, and quality.
Access
For the first time in history, the federal government made a conscious effort to improve access to emergency health services for those in need. Healthcare facilities that receive benefits from government programs such as Medicare were mandated to provide appropriate
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Another important pro is that EMTALA has changed the culture, ethical behavior, and decision-making process of providers and hospitals in regards to emergency care. The thought process that only the insured and wealthy are entitled to health services has changed to emphasize the professional responsibility of provider and hospitals to offer life-saving measures to the poor. In truth, turning away a patient that has a definite emergency health problem is an ethical issue that contradicts the medical code of

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