Touro Law Review


There was a time when those that were unable to afford medical care risked being denied treatment in emergency situations. Before Congress passed Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA), patients were being transferred to different hospitals, without being screened, because they did not have insurance and could not afford the treatment. Hospitals are no longer allowed to transport patients without properly screening and stabilizing them. Patients can bring a suit against a hospital if they believe the hospital violated EMTALA, however, in certain circuits the patient will need to prove that hospital had an “improper motive” for failing to properly screen them. When the Coronavirus pandemic took over the world, hospitals requested temporary waivers so that they can transport patients to off-campus testing sites. Hospitals were allowed to set up stations, away from the hospital, to treat patients with COVID. After reviewing both sides, this Note argues that patients should not have to prove such a huge burden like the motive of the hospital. Although, EMTALA was created so that patients are not turned away due to their financial situations, a lot of work still needs to be done to ensure that all patients are treated equally regardless of their race and socioeconomic status.