In this @washingtonpost OpEd, we, four Black women physicians, pay honor to the humanity of Dr. Susan Moore, who died prematurely of #COVID19 and racism, and we continue to call on institutions and organizations to dismantle racism in healthcare. #SayHerName
“I put forth and I maintain: If I was White, I wouldn’t have to go through that.”
That was Susan Moore, from her hospital bed in Indianapolis, where she was being treated for covid-19, and where, an oxygen tube in her nose, she summoned the strength to post a Facebook video about her treatment.
That was Dr. Susan Moore, family physician, University of Michigan Medical School graduate, Black woman.
She described how the White doctor treating her “made me feel like I was a drug addict,” refusing to prescribe her additional narcotics when she complained of pain — even though he knew she was a fellow physician.
She related how he rejected her plea for additional doses of remdesivir; how “he did not even listen to my lungs , he didn’t touch me in any way”; how he suggested she should just go home.
“This is how Black people get killed, when you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves,” Moore said.

If anyone knew how to fight for herself, it would have been Moore. Still, she was sent home. Less than three weeks later, she was dead, at 52.
The deaths of Mr. George Floyd and so many others mistreated, injured or killed at the hands of our policing system have made us accustomed to seeing the video. But injustice in health care is rarely broadcast from cellphone videos or shared for thousands to witness.
This injustice often remains invisible to the public — unless, of course, you are a member of the community experiencing it.
Moore’s video offers a glimpse — even more enraging and heartbreaking in light of her death — of the injustice at the intersection of being a health-care provider and being a person of color during covid-19...
...and what happens when the system does not work to adequately care for the very people who are there to uphold it.
If a physician can’t be heard by her own peers to save her life, then who will listen? Who will be held accountable? What actions are necessary to ensure that no one feels that their only way to survive and be heard is by posting a cellphone video on Facebook?
Over the past several months, since the public killing of Floyd, many health-care institutions and associations have made important commitments to acknowledge that racism is a public health threat and to pledge efforts to dismantle racism in the health care system.
This is an important step forward. But these commitments are meaningless if not matched by urgent and sustained action.
As a nation, we need to understand four key messages about racism: Racism exists. Racism is a system. Racism saps the strength of the whole society. We must act to dismantle racism.
Say Susan Moore’s name. Heed her message. Do not let her death be in vain.
You can follow @uche_blackstock.
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