Wednesday’s Question: Why Are Hospitals Harming Black Patients? Day 17

Dr. Susan Moore, 52, owned her family practice. She tested positive for Covid on November 29, 2020, and was admitted to Indiana University Health North Hospital in Carmel, Indiana. Her doctor, Dr. Bannec, dismissed her symptoms and told her to go home without a complete evaluation.  When she requested pain medication, he made her feel like a drug addict. She had to prove she had pain.

She wanted to be transferred but was discharged home on December 7 only to be admitted to another hospital, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, within 12 hours of discharge with a temperature of 103 and a hypotensive blood pressure of 80/60. Her condition deteriorated, requiring a ventilator.   She died of Covid complications on December 20, 2020.

Dr. Bannec should have his license revoked by the state of Indiana. However, hospital administrators defended his biased and cruel treatment of a Black colleague.

The following is a video recorded by Dr. Moore on December 4, 2020.

In the video, Dr. 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, to let people know how I’m being treated up in this place.

After my experience at Tufts Medical Center and subsequent experience at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, it took some time to recognize a pattern. A pattern where my symptoms were not taken seriously even as a fellow physician, and NO ONE cared about the harm inflicted on me. It was not only that they missed two critical diagnoses, but they traumatized me. Long after, and to this day, I continue to have flashbacks of those admissions to the hospital.

When I heard about Dr. Susan Moore, it triggered my experience at Tufts Medical Center, where the nurse wanted me to beg for pain medication. I was awaiting surgery for compound fractures and dislocation of the jaw. I was in agony. The doctor at Tufts claimed I was intoxicated but never did an alcohol level. He wanted me to leave the hospital but sign an AMA form despite my altered mental status, which he attributed to alcohol, not the glaring head trauma in front of him. He did not care if I died. He and the staff were willing to make that happen, with the administrators concealing everything.

If Dr. Moore and I were white, our experience would have been different. Medical staff would have believed, and they might have cared. She would be alive today. Her son would have his mother and her parents would not be in an institution. I would have gone on to complete my MPH at Harvard instead of struggling to exist.

RIP Dr. Susan Moore Born 1967/68 died December 20, 2020, from COVID complications. She owned her family practice in Indiana. She is survived by her son, who was 19 at the time, and her parents, both of whom have dementia. She was their primary caregiver.

Google image. Dr. Susan Moore Google image. Dr. Susan Moore

Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Question: Why Are Hospitals Harming Black Patients? Day 17

  1. There are those who explain, and even defend, this kind of behavior from hospital staff by pointing out the enormous pressure they are currently exposed to. I tell those people it has nothing to do with that. What is the cause then? The personality structure of those involved. I have personally seen doctors and nurses react very differently under very dire circumstances. There were assholes, and there were angels. It’s just that the assholes found excuses for their disgusting behavior, while the angels just kept taking care of their patients no matter what.

  2. Angela the way they treated her and you is inexcusable and racist! Let me also throw in and probably more than we realize, incompetence!
    The AMA admits iatrogenic deaths each year at 100,000. Some Doctors like Dr. Gary Null puts it at 700,000. But most who follow this say around 250-300,000 deaths each year.
    Of the 700,000+ they said died of Covid I have read of estimates of 10% of that which people died of Covid alone and the majority died of a lack of treatment and Black people bare the blunt of that. People say oh they wouldn’t let people just die, oh yes they will and so many Drs. and Nurses are afraid to speak up or are just that cold and callous!

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