Black physician dies of COVID-19 after alleging racist care at IU Health hospital

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A Black female physician has died of COVID-19 about two weeks after claiming racism affected the care she received at an Indiana hospital, reports The New York Times

Susan Moore, MD, was diagnosed with COVID-19 Nov. 29 and admitted to Carmel, Ind.-based IU Health North Hospital. 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 a Dec. 4 Facebook video taken from her hospital bed. "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, reports Medpage Today. Her case has renewed calls to address biased medical treatment of Black patients, according to the Times.

"Sometimes when we think about medical bias it seems so far removed. But when you actually see it happen to a colleague and you're seeing her in the hospital bed and literally pleading for her life, it just hits a different way ... and says, ''Wow, we need to do something,'" Christina Council, MD, a Maryland-based primary care physician who is Black, told the Times.

A spokesperson for Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health said the system could not comment on Dr. Moore's case due to privacy laws. 

"As an organization committed to equity and reducing racial disparities in healthcare, we take accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation," the health system said in a statement to the Times. "We stand by the commitment and expertise of our caregivers and the quality of care delivered to our patients every day."

 

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