Dr. Susan Moore, a family physician, died of COVID-19. During her last few days, she expressed her frustration on Facebook because of unfair treatment. She claimed that her white doctor accused her of exaggerating her symptoms. 

What happened

On November 29th, Dr. Moore tested positive for the coronavirus. She was then admitted into IU North hospital on December 4th. Dr. Moore details her experience by stating she begged for painkillers and suffered in pain for hours. Dr. Moore previously battled sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that attacks the lungs. After voicing her concerns about treatment against black patients, the hospital staff switched doctors. This resulted in an improvement in her condition.

New York Times

After being discharged, Dr. Moore experienced a relapse in symptoms. Once she arrived home, she reached a temperature of 103. The ambulance arrived at her house and transported her to another hospital. She then received a diagnosis of pneumonia and COVID-19. However, she became 100 percent reliant on a respirator to breathe. She, unfortunately, left her family heartbroken right before Christmas. 

Why it happened

The case of Dr. Moore occurs way too often. Not only are people of color being discriminated against, many perceive their pain as insignificant. As reported by CNN News:

“…A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine… cited a 2016 study that found half of White medical students…”held unfounded beliefs about intrinsic biologic differences between Black people and White people,” falsely believing the pain of Black patients was less severe than White patients.”

New York Times

What’s next?

With the recent news of the COVID-19 vaccine, the black community remains hesitant. Many are afraid that they will not be taken seriously. Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, cites that:

“We cannot simply sweep under the rug the issue that there has been a long issue of racism in health care… This [experience] becomes [an] opportunity for hospital systems, health care payers, policy makers… to come to the table [and] to explicitly acknowledge the wrong that was done…”

Akron Beacon Journal

As we continue to observe the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine, there needs to be careful consideration to those communities who are fighting for justice.

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