Dr. Susan Moore, a Black physician based in Indianapolis, died of COVID-19 less than three weeks after she claimed the hospital treating her gave her racially biased care.
In a nearly eight-minute video posted to Facebook, Moore, from her hospital bed at Indiana University North Hospital, alleged that she was denied medication despite being in pain, and that the white male doctor treating her wanted to prematurely discharge her.
“I was crushed,” Moore explains in the video, adding, “the doctor made me feel like I was a drug addict, and he knew I was a physician.”
She was eventually given pain meds after a CT scan revealed new complications. “I put forth and I maintain, if I was white I wouldn’t have to go through that,” she asserted. She added that the doctor in question never even apologized for not listening to her concerns in the first place.
"This is how Black people get killed. When you send them home, and they don't know how to fight for themselves," Moore said.
In an update, Moore explained that she was able to get a hold of IU healthcare system's chief medical officer and relate her issues. She reported that her pain was finally being properly managed and that they were working on getting an apology from her doctor, as well as promising future diversity training for the staff.
Moore was eventually discharged and sent home, but after spiking a fever and suffering worsening symptoms, she returned to a different hospital where she reported the staff agreed she'd been discharged too soon, and worked to make her comfortable. "I am getting very compassionate care," she said of the new facility.
Moore died shortly after, though, following a transfer to the ICU. Her videos have sparked a viral discussion of, as well as outright outrage regarding, the biases people of color receive in the healthcare system as a result of long-standing systemic racism.
IU Health responded in a statement that it cannot comment on specific patient cases due to privacy concerns. However, "As an organization committed to equity and reducing racial disparities in healthcare, we take accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation.
“Treatment options are often agreed upon and reviewed by medical experts from a variety of specialties, and we stand by the commitment and expertise of our caregivers and the quality of care delivered to our patients every day.”