If you or a loved one was denied emergency care or released from the hospital before the condition was stabilized, can you sue for medical malpractice?
Federal Laws Regulate Emergency Treatment
Before the enactment of the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), patients who could not pay were often refused treatment or transferred (“dumped”) to public hospitals. Today, hospitals with emergency departments that qualify for Medicare are mandated by state and federal laws to provide emergency care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act
Under EMTALA, hospital emergency rooms have two obligations, commonly referred to as the appropriate medical screening requirement and the stabilization requirement.
Under the medical screening requirement, the hospital must provide for an appropriate medical screening examination to determine whether or not an emergency medical condition exists.
If the hospital’s medical staff determines that there is an emergency medical condition, then the staff must “stabilize” the patient before transferring or discharging the patient. The term ‘to stabilize’ means to provide medical treatment of the condition as may be necessary to assure, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from or occur during the transfer of the individual.
When to Hire an Attorney
Your right to emergency medical care is governed by state as well as federal laws. In addition, in Arizona, three elements must be established to bring a successful medical malpractice claim:
- It must be established that the doctor or medical professional who provided you care at the hospital owed a duty of care for your health
- It must be established that the doctor or medical professional breached that duty
- It must be established that the breach injured you
If you or a loved one was denied emergency care or released from a hospital before a condition was stabilized, an Arizona attorney may be able to help you get compensation. Call us today 602-910-6779.