Is the care of Black Ebola patients secondary?
Family And Friends Question Deceased Ebola Patient’s Care
The Texas Ebola patient has succumbed to the effects of the deadly disease. However, we already know of multiple cases of White Americans infected with Ebola who have made recoveries from their seemingly deadly condition. Is it any coincidence that the man of African heritage didn’t receive all the experimental treatments and emergency care that others in his same condition have been treated to since this epidemic surfaced? Via LA Times:
Family and friends of the first person to die of Ebola in the United States condemned the medical care that Thomas Eric Duncan received and called for a full examination of the case.
Duncan, 42, who was from Liberia, died Wednesday in Dallas after being infected with Ebola in Africa. He had been in isolation, being treated with an experimental drug, since Sept. 28.
Hours after Duncan’s death was announced, his fiancee, Louise Troh, called for an examination of how Duncan was treated.
“I trust a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care,” she said in a statement.
Duncan, who had left Liberia Sept. 19, was treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir.
However, he did not receive any transfusion of blood from an Ebola patient who had recovered. That treatment is considered experimental and was used on another American who has since recovered.
There also are questions about how Duncan was treated when he first arrived at the hospital Sept. 25, complaining of symptoms and telling personnel that he had traveled from West Africa. The travel information should have been a warning sign, officials have said.
Duncan was released with antibiotics. He was rushed back to the hospital three days later with more severe symptoms.
Troh’s daughter, Youngor Jallah, condemned the hospital’s actions. “The hospital didn’t treat him right,” Jallah said.
“That’s what everybody thinks,” added Aaron Yah, the father of four children with Jallah.
But what it really all boils down to — according to Duncan’s family and lawyer — is the fact that he was Black and uninsured…thus not really “worthy” of the hospital’s time and attention.
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, raised questions over whether Duncan was initially released from a Dallas hospital because of his race and lack of health insurance.
“The real elephant in the room is, the man was black, he had no insurance, and therefore he was basically turned away,” Price told the Los Angeles Times.
When asked how he knew Duncan didn’t have insurance, Price said, “If he had pulled out an insurance card, he wouldn’t have had a problem. I’m willing to stake my life on the fact he didn’t have insurance. He’s from Liberia!”
Price called Texas Health Presbyterian a “boutique” hospital that doesn’t normally serve indigent patients.
Price added: “I make the claim, we know he didn’t have insurance, and he was black. They did what they traditionally do: They gave him some pills and sent him on his way, basically ignoring all the CDC protocols.
“If you’re of color and present without insurance — they’re not going to call it ‘dumping,’ but in the final analysis, that’s basically what they did,” he said.
A hospital spokesman responded: “Mr. Duncan was treated the way any other patient would have been treated, regardless of nationality or ability to pay for care. We have a long history of treating a multicultural community in this area.”
Hey, maybe the hospital would have ignored anyone who came in very obviously ill. But the situation does raise a few red flags. What do you think? Did their lack of value of Black life and the uninsured move the hospital to disregard Duncan’s symptoms early on — and possibly lead to his death?