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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Joins Amicus Brief Supporting HHS on EMTALA Pre-emption


    Frank Trinity, Chief Legal Officer
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC joined the American Hospital Association and America’s Essential Hospitals in a March 18 Supreme Court amicus brief explaining that an Idaho law criminalizes the termination of a pregnancy even when it is medically necessary and required to stabilize a patient under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).   

    The brief asks the court to affirm the district court’s preliminary injunction in Moyle v. United States. The case involves an Idaho statute that makes it a crime for health care providers to terminate a pregnancy without making an exception for stabilizing care, as EMTALA requires. Providers seeking to comply with EMTALA could face felony charges and the loss of their professional licenses.   

    The brief explains that the threat of criminal and professional sanctions interferes with the exercise of expert medical judgment and intrudes upon the relationship between a patient and their physician. This interference is especially striking in the context of the emergency department, where health care providers must make rapid decisions and where delay or hesitation can mean the difference between life and death.