After being diagnosed with Coronavirus on Nov. 29, a Black doctor documented her stay at the Indiana University North Hospital. In several posts, Dr. Susan Moore claimed she was being mistreated and denied proper medical care at the hospital due to her race. On Dec. 20, family and friends sadly confirmed that the 52-year-old physician had passed away due to complications from the disease.
In an early post, Moore said she had to “beg” her doctor, Dr. Eric Bannec, to prescribe her Remdesivir — a drug known to help patients recover from COVID-19 faster. Moore said Dr. Bannec dismissed her pains and symptoms and instead wanted to send her home, despite the fact that she was seriously ill. According to her posts, she was eventually given a CT Scan, which showed she had enlarged lymph nodes, fluid and infiltration in her lungs.
“I had to beg to get the Remdesivir because Dr. Bannec said my chest x-ray was normal￼￼￼. I then had to beg for a CT of my chest which I finally got and it showed large mediastinal lymphadenopathy right lower lobe infiltrate in a new left lower lobe infiltrate,” Moore wrote.
Moore said she was also initially denied narcotics pain medication for her intense neck pain.
“… He doesn’t know why my neck hurts and he doesn’t feel comfortable giving me any narcotics,” she wrote in a post. “All I can do is cry I was in so much pain. He said you can just go home right now. Of note, he did not even listen to my lungs, he didn’t touch me in any way. He performed no physical exam. I told him you cannot tell me how I feel!”
Due to the lack of medical care, Moore wrote that she was requesting to be transferred to a different hospital.
“Now, that is not how you treat patients, period,” she said in a video. “So, I don’t trust this hospital and I’m asking to be transferred.”
“This is how Black people get killed,” she added. “When you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”
Desperate for care, Moore also spoke with the hospital’s chief medical officer, who assured her she would “get the best care possible.” Moore wrote that her care plan has been adjusted and the hospital told her it would put diversity training initiatives in place. However, she was later sent home and then admitted into an intensive care unit at another hospital less than 12 hours later. Moore passed away earlier this week.
Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo of Melanin, Medicine & Motherhood shared the doctor’s tragic story on social media.
“Sadly, while so many have fallen victim, her story is marred by systemic racism, even as a doctor,” Uwemedimo wrote. “[Three] weeks after her diagnosis, she is no longer with us and one can’t help but wonder whether the outcome would’ve been different; if she did not undergo repeated delays in care that were undoubtedly due to her being a Black woman, and the lack of respect & trust that we often face.”
“These are the issues we face, as we give up so much to take care of patients, even in harm’s way, and when we find ourselves as patients, we are disrespected, devalued & dismissed,” she added. “It cost Dr. Moore her life. Her medical degree did not save her from the racism that she endured while battling for her life. I pray that we learn from this tragedy, that we have seen far too many times before COVID and to this day. We must do better for Black women. Believe us. Trust us. Respect us.”
On Twitter, Dr. Carmen Brown wrote, “We lost another doctor today to COVID. But this doctor was mistreated. Her symptoms were ignored, downplayed and dismissed. She posted a heartbreaking video begging her fellow doctors to help save her…She called the patient advocate…She called the chief medical officer…She was in pain and ignored. Fellow docs got her into another hospital… It was too late. She passed away today. The system failed her. It failed us. Anyone want to guess the race of this doctor?”
“She didn’t have to die like that,” Brown added. “Her pain was dismissed. She was discharged WITHOUT being stable and was readmitted to another hospital because she was too scared to go back to the first hospital. She had to advocate for herself and was STILL ignored. Do you see how terrifying this is for people who don’t have a voice???”
Moore is survived by her 19-year-old son and parents who have dementia. Moore was the primary caretaker of both her son and parents, and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help support her family during this time.
See Moore’s video update before her tragic death below.