Preston V. Meriter Hospital in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (Medical Malpractice)

Preston V. Meriter Hospital in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (Medical Malpractice)

HOLDING: When a baby is born in a hospital birthing center, the newborn has come to the “emergency department” for purposes of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Thus, the hospital must provide “an appropriate medical screening examination” to any infant born at the hospital birthing center in order to determine whether the infant has an emergency medical condition. Preston arrived at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, on November 9, 1999, at 5:33 p.m. She was 23 weeks pregnant. At the time of her hospitalization, she was unemployed and on Medical Assistance. Preston was admitted to the hospital and taken to the birthing center. There, physicians performed an ultrasound to evaluate the unborn child’s condition. At 3:55 a.m. the following morning, Preston gave birth to a son whom she named Bridon Michael Johnson. The child weighed 700 grams. The hospital staff made no attempt to prolong the baby’s life. Bridon died two and a half hours later.

Preston V. Meriter Hospital in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (Medical Malpractice)



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