Story at a glance
- A Black physician who accused the Indiana University North Hospital of racist treatment died of COVID-19.
- After backlash, the hospital released a statement promising an external review of the case.
- Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates and face the additional risks of medical racism.
In the last decade, smartphone technology and social media has forced non-Black Americans to see firsthand the racism Black Americans regularly face. So when a Black physician felt mistreated by a white doctor at Indiana University North Hospital, she took to Facebook to tell her story.
Now, after her death, the video Susan Moore posted from a hospital bed is getting a second look.
“I am asking for an external review of this case. We will have a diverse panel of healthcare and diversity experts conduct a thorough medical review of Dr. Moore’s concerns to address any potential treatment bias,” Dennis Murphy, the president and CEO of Indiana University Health, said in a statement reported by The Associated Press (AP).
Moore, who died Dec. 20, said the doctor dismissed her pain and was reluctant to provide additional relief or examination. Research shows that to this day, many in the medical field hold false beliefs about Black patients, including that they feel less pain than others.
“I put forth and maintain, if I was white, I wouldn’t have to go through that,” she said in the video. “This is how Black people get killed, when you send them home, and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”
Moore was sent home — returning to a different hospital less than 12 hours later, where she later died.
After a “preliminary medical quality review,” Murphy said that he did not believe the medical team “failed the technical aspects” of Moore’s care, according to the AP, but “may not have shown the level of compassion and respect we strive for in understanding what matters most to patients.”
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