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Addressing Chronic Conditions

Callahan v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Callahan v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, Jan. 16, 2020): A district court declined to issue a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and United Network for Organ Sharing. Transplant patients, hospitals, and transplant centers claimed that HHS failed to follow legal procedures in developing its liver allocation policy, instead choosing to defer virtually all decision-making to a private government contractor. They also argued that these actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act as well as the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The court held the plaintiffs did not show a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims. In declining to issue the injunction, it acknowledged the case was “difficult and wrenching” and fraught with complexities and policy tensions. It observed that “implementation of transition measures to mitigate disruption and patient harm” should be a priority, but that “is an observation, not an order.” Read the decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – March 17, 2020.

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