A black doctor died from Covid – 19 weeks after accusing hospital staff of racist treatment

In a video posted earlier this month, she filmed herself on a hospital bed after her experience at IU North. Moore said that his doctor ignored his symptoms, saying, “You are not even short of breath.”

“Yes, I am,” Moore said in the video, which she shared on Facebook on December 4.

She had to beg to receive the remdesivir, she recalled in the video, the antiviral used to treat patients who are hospitalized for Covid-19 and do not need mechanical ventilation.

And despite her pain, the doctor told Moore that he could send her home, she said, and he was not comfortable giving her more narcotics.

“He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” she said in the video. “And he knew I was a doctor.”

Moore also posted updates on his Facebook page along with the video.

Moore, who was an internist, said her pain was “properly treated” only after she raised questions about her treatment. She was later discharged from IU North, but returned to a different hospital less than 12 hours later, she wrote on her Facebook page.

“I put and I support if I were white, I wouldn’t have to go through that, “said Moore.

An IU North spokesman confirmed to CNN that Moore was a patient at the hospital and was eventually discharged, but declined to say more about her, citing the patient’s privacy.

“As an organization committed to equality and the reduction of racial disparities in health, we take allegations of discrimination very seriously and investigate all allegations,” said the spokesman.

In a statement released on Thursday, Dennis M. Murphy, president and CEO of Indiana University Health, defended the technical aspects of the treatment Moore received, although he admitted “that we may not have shown the level of compassion and respect we seek in understanding what is most important for patients. ”

He also calls for an external review of the case.

Racism in healthcare is nothing new

Moore’s story speaks to a broader issue of what experts call racial prejudice implicit in healthcare for black patients. Studies have shown that black patients receive, in some situations, less pain medication than whites. And a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine attributed unequal treatment in part to “lasting racist cultural beliefs and practices”.

The article cited a 2016 study that found that half of white and resident medical students “held unsound beliefs about intrinsic biological differences between black and white people”, falsely believing that black patients’ pain was less severe than white patients.

“The acceptance of this unfair treatment as ‘normal’ is historically rooted and supported by the belief that blacks are inherently disease prone and, implicitly or explicitly, do not deserve high quality care,” the authors of the New England Journal of wrote an article of medicine, comparing the issue of racism in medicine to racism in policing.

Racial disparities in medical treatment were further emphasized by Covid-19, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

For “most doctors, predominantly white in the United States, the perception is that African Americans do not need it so much for pain,” said Dr. Ala Stanford, a pediatric surgeon and founder of the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium.

Moore leaves behind his 19-year-old son Henry Muhammed and his elderly parents, both with dementia, according to a GoFundMe created on their behalf.

According to the New York Times, Moore’s family said she was born in Jamaica and grew up in Michigan before studying engineering at Kettering University. She then graduated in medicine from the University of Michigan School of Medicine, the Times reported. The GoFundMe page describes her as someone who loved to practice medicine and was proud to be a member of the Delta Sigma Theta fraternity.

CNN contacted the Moore family for more comments. Her son told the New York Times that she was adept at defending herself in hospitals, where she often received treatment for sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs.

“Almost every time she went to the hospital, she had to defend herself, fight for something in some way, shape or form, just to get a baseline, adequate care,” he told the Times.

“That’s how black people are killed,” said Moore in the video, “when you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”

Stanford recognized that Moore was not her patient and she did not know what the situation was at the hospital where she received treatment. But she felt that Moore’s need to repeatedly defend her own care was “unacceptable”.

In addition, Moore’s decision to order pain medication was not only to relieve her pain, Stanford said, but it would also help her recovery, making it easier for her to breathe. And Moore’s request for an antiviral is now part of the standard treatment for Covid-19, Stanford added.

“This is basic,” said Stanford. “This is the standard for what you get. I know this for taking care of enough people with coronavirus in the hospital and helping them to overcome it.”

‘She is me and we are her’

Moore first tested positive for Covid-19 on November 29, according to his Facebook post. On December 4, she was hospitalized at IU North in Carmel, Indiana. It was only after a CT scan showed new lymphadenopathy – a disease in which the lymph nodes increase in size – that the hospital agreed to treat her pain, she said.

“You have to prove that something is wrong with you in order to receive the medicine,” she said in the video.

Dr. Stanford said that lymphadenopathy would indicate that “the disease process has been going on for a period of time” and that Moore’s body was fighting the disease.

According to his Facebook posts, Moore was finally able to speak with the medical director at IU Healthcare, who said he would ensure she received the best care. He also told her that diversity training would be carried out.

On December 7, the hospital released Moore and sent her home, according to her Facebook post. But less than 12 hours later, she was sent to a different hospital after a fever and a drop in her blood pressure, according to a Facebook post. Moore said he was being treated for bacterial pneumonia and Covid’s pneumonia. She described care at the second hospital as “very compassionate”.

The next day, Moore wrote that she was being transferred to the ICU. It was the last update shared on your Facebook page.

Her story resulted in a show of generosity from people who heard her, and the GoFundMe page raised more than $ 100,000 on Thursday night.

Dr. Alicia Sanders, another doctor who contacted Moore for the first time after watching her video, helped start the page to raise funds for her family, including sending Muhammed back to school at Indiana University. Sanders said the reason for his first contact with Moore was “distressing”.

“She’s me,” said Sanders, who is also black. “She is me and we are her. It could have been any of us that happened.”

Stanford – who told CNN that he recognized implicit prejudice and racism in medicine, but had chosen to try to change things within the healthcare system – echoed that comment. She told CNN that when she first heard about Moore’s story, she stopped walking and brought tears to her eyes.

She shared it with a group of her friends – all black female surgeons from across the country. Everyone could relate, Stanford said, having tried the same treatment despite his experience.

“We all have stories,” she said.

“If any of us gets sick, please don’t be silent. Be vigilant, be present, make yourself public,” Stanford wrote to them, adding from Moore: “She was one of us.”

CNN’s Sheena Jones and Mirna Alsharif contributed to this story.