The AHA and Association of American Medical Colleges late yesterday filed an amicus brief in support of the federal government’s motion for preliminary injunction for an Idaho law, which is slated to go into effect Aug. 25. At issue is whether the state law can coexist with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires hospitals to stabilize care for those in an emergency medical condition.  
 
The AHA and AAMC’s brief explained: “Hospitals and emergency room physicians need clarity about the legal regimes that govern the provision of care. They need to know what treatments they may—and, in the context of EMTALA, must—provide.” The amicus brief continued: “The conflicting federal and Idaho frameworks, however, generate exactly the kind of uncertainty that is antithetical to the practice of sound emergency medicine…. A preliminary injunction will preserve the status quo, appropriately respect the expert medical judgment of Idaho emergency caregivers like those who submitted declarations in this case, and ultimately protect patients who arrive at Idaho’s hospitals at the most vulnerable moments of their lives, when they are in desperate need of emergency care.”

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