What We're Reading: Louisiana Abortion Law; Michigan Medicaid Work Requirements; EMS Crews Cited for Fatal Mistakes

The US Supreme Court was given 2 amicus briefs by legal, medical groups advocating against the Louisiana abortion law; Michigan's governor calls to pause impending Medicaid work requirements; emergency medical service crews in Rhode Island shown to misplace breathing tubes in patients, leading to death.

Medical, Legal Groups Oppose Louisiana Abortion Law

The American Bar Association and several major medical groups advocated against the Louisiana abortion law, which is set to be decided by the US Supreme Court next year, according to NPR. In an amicus brief sent to the court, medical groups such as the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Academy of Pediatrics argued that the law’s requirement for doctors who perform abortions in Louisiana to have hospital admitting privileges is medically unnecessary and harmful to patients. The American Bar Association issued its own amicus brief, which voiced similarly opposing arguments that the law runs counter to existing precedent protecting abortion rights.

Michigan Governor Advocates for Pause to Medicaid Work Requirements

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, called to pause the state’s impending Medicaid work requirements to avoid coverage losses on January 1, 2020, according to The Associated Press. A delay for the state’s work requirements, which are set to take effect on New Year’s Day, would have to be agreed upon by the Republican-controlled legislature. As Medicaid work requirements have been denounced by Democrats and championed by the Trump administration and several other Republican-controlled states, doubts have circulated whether the move will occur.

Misplaced Breathing Tubes by EMS Crews Linked to Fatalities

A growing number of emergency medical service (EMS) crews in Rhode Island were shown to bring patients to the hospital with misplaced breathing tubes, leading to fatalities among all cases, according to ProPublica. Hospital records showed that patients had been arriving by ambulance with breathing tubes sending air into their stomachs instead of their lungs, which led to suffocation and subsequent death in 12 cases over the past 3 years. The mistake, called esophageal intubation, is classified as a “never event” in the world of emergency medicine, indicating it should not happen under any circumstances. Nick Asselin, MD, made the discovery and presented his findings to a state panel this past March.