With the U.S. elder population on the brink of booming, attention to the ramifications of legal standards that affect them is a must. In 2018, the Sixth Circuit split from its sister circuits and solidified an interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act’s (EMTALA) “appropriate medical screening” standard that will adversely affect aging individuals. Since older adults are the most likely demographic to use emergency care services, laws that impact emergency care will inevitably trickle down to this group of people. To protect already vulnerable older adults, EMTALA should be modified in such a way that (1) it eliminates interpretations such as the “improper motive” standard that the Sixth Circuit enforces and (2) gross deviation from the standard of care will constitute a “failure to provide appropriate medical screening”—and give rise to a cause of action under EMTALA.
Madisyn Uekawa, Silver and Old: How EMTALA's Outdated Appropriate Medical Screening Standard Impacts the Aging Population, 43 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 863 (2020).