Lawmaker Proposes ‘Cultural Awareness’ Bill After Black Doctor’s Death

Dr. Susan Moore, who died at the age of 52 from the coronavirus, garnered national attention after her self-documented footage of the mistreatment she claimed to receive at Indiana University hospital because of her race went viral.  

Now, Indiana state lawmaker Rep. Robin Shackleford is introducing a bill to prevent other Black women from receiving the same mistreatment at healthcare facilities. 

“I don’t want another Black woman to have to go through this,” Rep. Shackleford said to WJCT News. “We need to do whatever we can to make sure our patients and our Black women are not feeling even more stressed when they go to the hospital.” 

In the videos posted to her Facebook page, Dr. Moore said she was “treated like a drug addict,” and had requested a transfer to a different hospital. She died a few weeks later from complications related to COVID-19.

The bill proposed by Rep. Shackleford, who chairs the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus would require state healthcare professionals to have yearly two-hour cultural awareness training

The legislature would also require the establishment of training programs in the state's health department that connects race, sex, language, disability status, gender identity, and sexual orientation to a person’s healthcare experience. 

Under the proposed statue, the state would be required to track data on race, gender, language, disability status, and other identity experiences, at its healthcare facilities. 

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus called Indiana University Hospital’s statement on Dr. Moore’s death in which it insisted she “intimidated” hospital staffers, “absolutely inexcusable.” “We cringe at the thought of what happens to other Black women who lack the same access,” they added. 

Photo: Getty Images

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