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Sociedad Española de Auxilio Mutuo y Beneficencia v. Morales

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd(a), prohibits hospital emergency rooms from refusing treatment to a patient who “comes to” an emergency room, even if the patient lacks health insurance and cannot afford to pay for medical care. In this case, Carolina Morales sued after a hospital turned away an ambulance transporting her to the hospital for emergency treatment because she lacked health insurance. The court of appeals held that EMTALA applied, even where the ambulance in which she was riding had not yet reached hospital property at the time the hospital turned her away. When the hospital petitioned the Supreme Court for review, we assisted Morales’s counsel in preparing the opposition to the petition.  As we urged it to do, the Court denied review.