Dr. Susan Moore, a Black physician who had been documenting the mistreatment she’d endured in the healthcare system after her COVID-19 diagnoses, has passed away at the age of 52. In her honor, fellow physicians have been uplifting Moore’s name online and making efforts to continue the on-going conversations of how to combat systematic racism against Black women, especially in the healthcare field.
Throughout the month of December, Moore had been publicly sharing both the progress and the pitfalls of her experience with the virus as she received treatment at the Indiana University Health hospital system. In a video she posted on Facebook December 4th from the facility, Moore voiced her frustrations with her doctor and care team saying, “Now, that is not how you treat patients, period. I don’t trust this hospital and I’m asking to be transferred.”
She mentioned that she felt the hospital was trying to discharge her without treating her condition fully, saying “These people wanted to send me home with new pulmonary infiltrates and all kinds of lymphadenopathy in my neck.” She added that her physician, Dr. Bannec, told her “If I stayed, that he would send me home Saturday at 10 pm, in the dark. Who does that?” she asked.
Meanwhile, one of Moore’s nurses, seemingly attempting to dispel any allegations of racial discrimination, told her “I was marching in Black Lives Matter,” to which Moore responded, “No, I don’t believe none of that, not one bit, not one iota… you wouldn’t even know how to march, [you] probably can’t even spell it.”
Later, in the heartbreaking clip, Moore said, “This is how Black people get killed, when you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves. I had to talk to somebody, maybe the media, somebody. To let people know how I’m being treated up in this place,”
During her hospital stay, Moore said she had to “beg” for chest x-rays and CT scans, was told she didn’t qualify for Remdesivir (a drug said to make one’s recovery time from the virus shorter), and was denied pain medications.
“All I can do is cry I was in so much pain,” she shared. “He (Dr. Bannec) said you can just go home right now…. Why do I have to prove that there’s something wrong with me in order for my pain to be treated?”
In an Instagram post in memory of Moore, medical professional and OBGYN Charis Chambers summarized Moore’s untimely death saying, “She was discharged home and required readmission less than 12 hours later. She didn’t trust the prior hospital team after how they treated her, so she ended up going to a different hospital. Once she was there, she received much better care, but it was too late…This is unacceptable. This is heartbreaking. This must stop.”
Using social media as a tool, just as Moore did to share her experiences, additional healthcare workers have spoken out in the aftermath of this tragedy. Dr. Carmen Brown tweeted, “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???”
Dr. Vidya Kumar Ramanathan tweeted, “So very sad to see this. Dr. Moore was in my medical school class. She was kind, hard-working, brilliant, and generous. Really saddened by this.”
Moore was the sole provider for her 19-year-old son and her two parents, both of whom have dementia. You can support the GoFundMe set up to take care of their needs here.