This requirement is intended to ensure that a physician evaluates the patient's condition. As discussed in Chapter 9, such an evaluation creates a legal duty for the physician to care for the patient. Triggering this duty was a prime goal of the act. The drafters wanted to discourage the common practice of doing the financial screening before the patient was allowed to see the physician. The courts allow patients to sue for failing to screen, irrespective of whether there was also an inappropriate transfer.This allows a patient to refuse a transfer if this is a knowing refusal made after being apprised of the risks and benefits of transfer. Since a formal transfer is unnecessary if the patient is stabilized, this implies that a patient refusing transfer still requires medical care either to prevent deterioration of the patient's condition or the delivery of her baby. Such a patient cannot be discharged from the hospital until he or she is stabilized. Thompson v. St. Ann's Hosp. 716 F Supp 8 (Ill. 1989).
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