A Black Doctor Dies of Coronavirus Complications Just Weeks After Complaining About Hospital's Racist Treatment
An Indiana doctor died of COVID-19 complications just weeks after reporting racial abuse on behalf of the hospital.
The New York Times reports that Dr. Susan Moore, a black medical doctor, did not receive adequate care during her admission to Indiana University North Hospital and was briefed of her pain by her white male doctor. In a viral video now published on Facebook, Moore shared her experience and documented her positive coronavirus diagnosis on November 29, early discharge and her eventual return to hospital. She noticed that she had to ask her doctor to treat her with the antiviral drug remdesivir as well as a CT scan of the neck and chest as she was in all the pain. However, the doctor initially refused to do both, instead questioning Moore's symptoms and suggesting being discharged instead. The doctor would eventually commit, but only after medical tests showed Moore actually had new pulmonary infiltrates in her lungs that required the necessary and immediate attention.
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"I keep going and I pretend that if I knew I wouldn't have to go through this," Moore said on her video. "I don't trust this hospital and ask for rendition. These people wanted to send me home with new pulmonary infiltrates and all kinds of lymphadenopathy on my neck. This is how black people get killed. When you send them home and they don't know how to take care of themselves." I have to speak to someone, maybe the media, someone, to let people know how I'm being treated in this place. "
Unfortunately for Moore, this wasn't the first time she had to be her own advocate for her health. Nor is it the first time that racial health differences have been noted, particularly in relation to black and brown communities and the coronavirus.
From the New York Times:
The challenges of adequate medical care are no stranger to her, said Muhammed, her 19-year-old son. She had sarcoid, an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs, and was often treated in hospitals. "Almost every time she went to the hospital, she had to stand up for herself, fight for something of some kind, just to get basic and proper care," he said.
Dr. Moore's case has sparked outrage and renewed calls to grapple with biased medical treatment for black patients. Extensive research suggests that black patients often receive treatment that is inferior to their white counterparts, especially when it comes to pain relief. "It had a huge impact," said Dr. Christina Council, a Maryland GP who is Black, about Dr. Moore's experience. “Sometimes when we think about medical bias it seems so far away. We can sit there and say, “OK, it can happen to someone who is poorer.” But when you actually see it happening to a colleague and you see her in the hospital bed and literally beg for her life, it's just hitting someone else Get away and really hit home and say, "Wow, we have to do something."
Before Moore's death, she announced that she had raised her concerns to the hospital system's chief medical officer, who then promised better care and a new doctor. Although things were getting better, Moore still felt that she was not receiving the best possible care. Less than 12 hours later, on December 7 after her discharge, she was admitted to another hospital where she was being treated for both bacterial pneumonia and Covid-19 pneumonia. She would ultimately succumb to these complications weeks later.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help cover the funeral expenses of Moore's son and elderly parents with dementia. "Susan was a phenomenal doctor," said the campaign. "She loved practicing medicine, she loved being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she loved helping people, and she didn't apologize for it."
“This fundraiser aims to help her family with immediate needs, which are currently housing and food, as she was the only provider for her son and parents. This page will be updated as additional requirements arise, including funeral expenses, moving expenses, and utilities. "
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