ENA Statement on Supreme Court’s EMTALA Opinion

June 27, 2024 Emergency Nurses Association EMTALA

On Thursday, ENA issued the following statement relating to the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the applicability of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.

"Over the last four decades, the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act offered an uncompromised standard that ensured every patient who entered an emergency department would receive the care they needed.

ENA is unwavering in its support of EMTALA because it puts the health and well-being of every patient at the forefront. ENA firmly believes all people are entitled to equitable access to affordable, comprehensive, quality health care without exception – and EMTALA has helped ensure that for 40 years.

The Supreme Court’s opinion issued today in Idaho v. United States has, for the moment, maintained EMTALA’s standing as the standard across the country.

As the Idaho case returns to the state court, ENA remains concerned about the growing ambiguity for emergency nurses – and the entire emergency care team – in certain states about the legal obligations and ramifications of delivering appropriate emergency care, particularly to those suffering an obstetric emergency.

Equally as important, ENA recognizes there is potential for an increase in health care inequities in the future should any state law be allowed to override this important federal mandate."

- ENA President Chris Dellinger

Read ENA’s May 22 statement on Access to Quality Health Care and EMTALA here.

The Emergency Nurses Association is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With 50,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines and guides emergency health care public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.

ENA Media Contact

Dan Campana

Director of Communications