Healthcare Law and Ethics

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Healthcare Ethics Paper

Brian Lucas

HSC / 545 Healthcare Law and Ethics



Healthcare Ethics Paper

My paper is on patient dumping which happens when a medical treatment facility may treat a patient initally for acute symptoms but then realizes the patient has no means to pay for the medical services rendered. In some cases back in the 1990's it was found that a patient was put into a cab and the cab driver paid to take the patient away and let out on a street corner somewhere in a city in the USA. Some stories have been told that patients only had on a hospital gown and diaper and dumped on the curb. Usually these patients are older population, may have dementia or are chronic alcoholics and are too sick to care for themselves. Of course this practice is illegal after Congress passed the “Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), sometimes referred to as COBRA since it was part of the year’s Consolidated Omnibus Budget”. (, Karen Markus, JD, RN, p 1.)

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act is a law passed by Congress to protect the patients from the practice of patient dumping. The law states that every patient that seeks medical treatment care in medical treatment facility must be assessed or screened by a qualified medical professional for the presence of an emergency medical condition. The law also requires the medical tratment facility to run tests, to rule out an emergency medical condition, can be screened by a physcian, nurse practicioner, physcian assistant. The patient must not just be triaged, which is a process in which...
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