Alex Parker of the Chi-Town Daily News is reporting that according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the University of Chicago Medical Center is guilty of violating a federal law by not giving an elderly patient who later died adequate medical treatment. The University of Chicago’s own internal investigation demonstrated that its staff did not follow the U of C’s own policies and procedures when caring for the patient.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that requires every emergency room to offer stabilizing treatment to any patient who comes to the emergency room for treatment, regardless of ability to pay.
Anyone who meeds medical care at an emergency room is absolutely entitled to be triaged and monitored regardless of the circumstances. EMTALA absolutely forbids hospitals from engaging in the practice of patient “dumping” including outright denials of treatment or a referral to another ER. This practice often occurs when a low income or senior citizen appears at an ER facility and does not appear to be able to pay for care.