How to Complain When a Hospital or Doctor Refuses to Treat You in Labor


Under a federal law called the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), hospitals that receive Medicare funding—which is almost all hospitals—must provide emergency treatment, including to women in labor. Emergency stabilizing treatment includes delivery of the baby and placenta. This means that it is illegal for a hospital to refuse to treat a woman in labor.

Despite this, hospitals routinely threaten to refuse treatment to pregnant women who do not do what the hospitals want. Some even refuse treatment. A recent investigation found that Georgia is among the worst states in the nation for EMTALA violations.

If a hospital refused to admit you or treat you when you were in labor, you have a right to file a complaint. Click here to find the grievance form. Be sure to note that you were refused emergency medical treatment, and provide details about the refusal.

Additionally, some lawyers take EMTALA complaints. The State Bar of Georgia can help you find an attorney who specializes in these issues.