A Black doctor in the United States who complained about racism just weeks ago has died of coronavirus. The victim, Dr. Susan Moore, had earlier described how a white physician had ignored her descriptions of pain and discomfort and had failed to provide adequate treatment to the ailing woman.
Dr Moore breathed her last on Saturday. The incident occurred just two weeks after the physician shared a video of her experience at the Indiana University Health North Hospital (IU North). In the video, Moore had mentioned how a white doctor had ignored her requests for medication as well as her concerns over pain on account of the former being black.
The woman filmed herself claiming that the white doctor who had been treating her ignored her requests for remdesivir, the prescribed drug for coronavirus patients who had been hospitalised. The doctor not only refused to give her the drug but also told her he was not comfortable giving her more narcotics as he felt she wasn’t even “out of breath”, despite the woman insisting she was.
“He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” Moore said in the video, despite him knowing that she was a physician herself. Moore also concluded that she was sure she would not have been treated in this manner by the doctor, had she been white.
According to a report in CNN, IU North had issued a statement in which it defended the medical treatment that was given to Moore before her death and also confirmed that she indeed was a patient at the institute. The statement, nevertheless, conceded that the administration could have dealt with the situation differently by being more humane and sensitive in their handling of the patient.
Dennis M. Murphy, President and CEO of the hospital has requested an inquiry into the matter.
While the results of the probe are yet to be revealed, Moore’s experience of racism in the healthcare system if far from being an isolated incident. In fact, a growing trend of racism within the healthcare sector has been noted in the United States ever since the start of the pandemic, so much so that in October, experts declared racism a healthcare concern at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic had made healthcare an essential service for the survival of the masses.
Addressing experiences like Moore’s has become a priority for a growing number of local governments, many responding to a pandemic that’s amplified racial disparities and the call for racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans. Since last year, about 70 cities, roughly three dozen counties and three states have declared racism a public health crisis, according to the American Public Health Association.
(With inputs from AP)