IU Health CEO demands external review after Black physician alleges racist treatment

Indiana University Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy is calling for an external review after the death of a Black physician who claimed racism affected the care she received at one of the system's hospitals. 

Susan Moore, MD, was diagnosed with COVID-19 Nov. 29 and admitted to IU Health North Hospital in Carmel, Ind. She filmed herself from her hospital bed and recounted her experience in a Dec. 4 Facebook video

Dr. Moore said the white physician who was treating her downplayed her pain complaints and said he felt uncomfortable giving her more drugs.

"I was crushed. He made me feel like I was a drug addict," she said in the Facebook video. "I maintain if I was white, I wouldn't have to go through that."

Dr. Moore died of complications from the virus Dec. 20 at age 52. 

In a Dec. 24 statement, Mr. Murphy said he is saddened by the experience Dr. Moore described in the video. 

"It hurt me personally to see a patient reach out via social media because they felt their care was inadequate and their personal needs were not being heard," Mr. Murphy wrote. 

Mr. Murphy said he also saw the perspective of the nursing team "trying to manage a set of critically ill patients in need of care who may have been intimidated by a knowledgeable patient who was using social media to voice her concerns and critique the care they were delivering."

After a preliminary medical quality review, Mr. Murphy said he doesn't believe IU Health failed "the technical aspects of delivery of Dr. Moore's care."

He said there is still much to learn through an internal review, and he is asking for an external review of the 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. The construct of this review is to understand how we improve on not only the technical aspects of care, but also the more humanistic elements of the patient experience. The external review also can illuminate ways that we as a system can ensure we live up to our commitment to the equitable treatment of all patients," Mr. Murphy wrote. 

Read the full statement from Mr. Murphy here

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