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Black doctor dies of COVID after alleging hospital mistreatment: 'This is how Black people get killed'

Dr. Susan Moore said the doctor refused to give her pain killers despite being in excruciating pain and wanted to discharge her.

Black doctor dies of COVID after alleging hospital mistreatment: 'This is how Black people get killed'

Trigger warning: This story contains details of race-motivated violence that readers may find disturbing. 

Dr. Susan Moore, a 52-year-old Black physician died from Coronavirus complications on Sunday. During her final moments, she accused the hospital of not taking her seriously and not providing her with proper care that eventually caused her death. Dr. Susan Moore recorded a video on her cell phone during her final moments at a suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, hospital as she struggled to breathe, despite being on oxygen support. Dr. Moore made it evident that the hospital doctor was racist and stated that she would have been treated correctly had she been White. Moore said the doctor refused to pay heed when she explicitly told him she was in excruciating pain. The doctor refused to prescribe painkillers, which Dr. Moore said made her "feel like a drug addict." She had tested positive for Coronavirus in late November, reported Good Morning America. Being a physician herself didn't help her case as doctors reportedly refused to take her pain seriously.



"This is how Black people get killed. When you send them home and they don't know how to fight for themselves," said Moore in a December 4 video posted on her Facebook page. She had posted the video from Indiana University Health North Hospital in Carmel, Indiana.. "I had to talk to somebody, maybe the media, to let people know how I'm being treated up in this place. I put forth, and I maintain, if I was white, I wouldn't have to go through that," said Moore. Her death further adds proof to studies that showed Black people being disproportionately affected by Coronavirus. A research published by Brookings Institution showed that Black people with Coronavirus have died at 3.6 times the rate of white people. Similarly, an ABC News investigation found that Black people in coronavirus hot spots are twice as likely to die from the illness than their white counterparts.


In the video, Dr. Moore said she would be requesting for a transfer. Her son, Henry Muhammed, confirmed she had been discharged on December 7 but spent only 12 hours at home before being rushed to another hospital. On her Facebook page, she wrote that she was admitted to Ascension-St. Vincent Hospital in Carmel and that her temperature had spiked to 103 degrees.


Henry Muhammed, 19, rushed to the hospital but didn't get there in time to say goodbye. "I was hoping that when I got there, she would still be alive but when they opened those ICU doors and they told me that she had passed away … I was just almost hyperventilating," he said. "I was just like, 'Mom, I love you, mom. I love you.'" Muhammed is seething at the poor treatment she reportedly received at IU North Health. "I am outraged beyond words ... because if what my mom thinks was true and that it was racism, and they neglected her because of that, nobody should go through that. It puts the phrase 'I can't breathe' to a whole new context," he said.


Muhammed said his mother was very scared towards the end. "My mom was legitimately very scared. I haven't seen my mom that scared in a long, long time. She was concerned by the lack of empathy from the doctor. She didn't feel like the doctor cared about her or her health, or whether or not she was getting better," said the 19-year-old. A spokesperson for IU North Health put out a diplomatic statement while addressing Dr. Moore's death. "IU North respects and upholds patient privacy and cannot comment on a specific patient, their medical history or conditions," the hospital said in a statement. "We take accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation. Treatment options are often agreed upon and reviewed by medical experts from a variety of specialties, and we stand by the commitment and expertise of our caregivers and the quality of care delivered to our patients every day."


Dr. Moore was the primary caregiver to her parents, who suffer from dementia. "They've been asking about her. I tried telling them that she passed and … they don't always remember," said Muhammed, who's taking care of them now. Their family had moved to Indiana after his mother got a job there as a visiting physician.

Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

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