Black Doctor Dies of Covid-19 After Accusing Hospital Of Racial Bias
A Black physician died of Covid-19 weeks after she described a White doctor dismissing her pain and concerns about her treatment as she lay in an Indiana hospital.
Dr. Susan Moore passed away on Sunday due to complications from Covid-19, her son told the New York Times. The internist died about two weeks after she shared a video in which she accused a doctor at Indiana University Health North Hospital (IU North) of ignoring her complaints of pain and requests for medication because she was Black, even though she was both a patient and a doctor herself.
In a video that was posted earlier this month, she filmed herself from a hospital bed and recounted her experience at IU North. Moore said her doctor brushed off her symptoms, telling her, “You’re not even short of breath.”
“Yes, I am,” Moore said in the video, which she shared on Facebook December 4.
She had to beg to receive remdesivir, she recalled in the video, the antiviral drug used to treat patients who are hospitalized for Covid-19 and are not in need of mechanical ventilation.
And despite her pain, the doctor told Moore he might send her home, she said, and he didn’t feel comfortable giving her more narcotics.
“He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” she said in the video. “And he knew I was a physician.”
Moore had also posted updates on her Facebook page along with the video.
Moore, who was an internist, said her pain was “adequately treated” only after she raised concerns about her treatment. She was later discharged from IU North, but returned to a different hospital less than 12 hours later, she wrote on her Facebook page.
“I put forth and I maintain if I was White, I wouldn’t have to go through that,” Moore said.
A spokesman for IU North confirmed to CNN that Moore was a patient at the hospital and that she was eventually discharged, but declined to say more about her, citing patient privacy.
“As an organization committed to equity an reducing racial disparities in healthcare, we take accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation,” the spokesman said.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Dennis M. Murphy, President and CEO of Indiana University Health, defended the technical aspects of the treatment Moore received, while conceding “that we may not have shown the level of compassion and respect we strive for in understanding what matters most to patients.”