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The Reluctant Consultant: Refusal of Care (by Providers Toward Patients) 

The Reluctant Consultant: Refusal of Care (by Providers Toward Patients)
Chapter:
The Reluctant Consultant: Refusal of Care (by Providers Toward Patients)
Source:
Legal and Ethical Issues in Emergency Medicine
Author(s):

Sara R. Zaidi

and Jeremy R. Simon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190066420.003.0013

This chapter discusses the obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of both emergency physicians and on-call consultants to patients who present to the emergency department with a medical complaint. Whereas emergency physicians, by the nature of their work, cannot avoid being present to treat patients when they arrive, consultants may be reluctant to fulfill their obligation and come to the emergency department to treat an unstable patient who cannot be discharged without their services. Techniques for avoiding and resolving such impasses are discussed, as well as what to do in the case of true intransigence.

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