Central PA Medicine Winter 2021 - 17
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They often share that they felt not listened to or
respected, and the care plan was not adequately
explained. They felt rushed and could not obtain
answers to their questions.
by 3 White residents while jogging in his
neighborhood because they " thought " he
was stealing from a house under construction.
Arrests were not made until 74 days after the
murder - after video release of the event and
family and community pressure.
The following are examples of disparities in
health care and policing which demonstrate how
much the issue of race continues to permeate
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-Amerour society. They are not " exceptions to the rule. " ican woman, was fatally shot in her Louisville,
Dr. Susan Moore is the African-American Kentucky, apartment in the dead of night on
physician whose recent and unfortunate death March 13, 2020, when White plainclothes
from COVID-19 was reported by multiple Louisville Metro Police Department officers
news outlets. She complained of sub-standard forced entry into her apartment believing
medical care, being treated poorly, not being a previous boyfriend had illegal substances
listened to by her colleagues, and not treated as delivered to her apartment. No charges have
a colleague. To African-Americans the statement been filed in the murder of Ms. Taylor, but an
released by the hospital was dismissive at best. officer was indicted for endangering a White
neighbor. The Louisville Metro Government
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner of Staten settled with the Taylor family for wrongful death.
Island died after being put in a prohibited
Serena Williams, professional tennis player,
chokehold by a police officer who was arresting
birth in September 2017, required a
him for selling loose cigarettes. Mr. Garner
and developed a PE day-1 post-op.
repeated " I can't breathe " 11 times to no avail
history of a DVT and PE
as multiple police officers pinned him down.
the symptoms but
Why so many officers for a petty " crime " ? No
a chest CT and
charges were filed despite the use of a banned
policing technique and the cause of death being
ruled a homicide.
she had an extended recovery.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murTamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American
dered in Minneapolis, MN, while being arrested
while playing with a toy pistol on November
for allegedly using a counterfeit $20.00 bill. The
in a park in Cleveland, OH, was shot
White Minneapolis police officer knelt on Mr.
by a White police officer who fired
Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds while
before his car came to a full stop.
handcuffed and lying face down. Two other
sister was forced to the
police officers assisted by applying pressure on
and placed in a patrol
Mr. Floyd's back and knees. Mr. Floyd told the
her dying brother.
officers that he was claustrophobic and suffered
with anxiety prior to being brutally " restrained " .
He requested to lie on the ground rather than be
put in the patrol car. As the officer was kneeling
on his neck Mr. Floyd repeatedly said he could
not breathe; he called for his dead mother. The with the family.
officers made no attempt at resuscitative care.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, Lafayette
Square vs. Insurrection, US Capitol,
Dr. Gwendolyn Poles, member of PAMED
& DCMS, living with Sickle Cell Disease,
repeatedly has experienced racial and gender
bias as a patient and colleague. Fortunately, as
recently as this year she survived challenging
in-patient encounters during which she was
not listened to.
BLM leaders were required to meet with
multiple agencies to secure the necessary permits
then tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, sting
ball grenades, horses, shields and batons were
used to clear peaceful demonstrators from
Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a mod- Lafayette Square and surrounding streets to
ern-day lynching in Glynn County, GA on create a path for President Trump to walk to
February 23, 2020. He was chased down the fire damaged St. John's Episcopal Church
for a photo op. Five times the number of arrests
were made than the number of arrests made at
the insurrection on 1/6/21.
Capitol Police turned down additional
security assistance for the planned " Save
America " rally despite social media warnings
of violence and despite the joint session of
Congress which Vice President Pence was
presiding over. " Protesters " were not only able
to breach multiple police perimeters, enter and
desecrate our Capitol Building, but some were
escorted out of the Capitol building instead
of immediately being arrested.
These are several examples of the structural
and systemic racism that continues to persist in
America: in health care, policing, criminal justice,
education, employment, sports, entertainment,
government, and in the financial sector.
As physicians, we have a mandate to effect
meaningful change in every way we can. My
White colleagues must conduct an honest
self-assessment and then collaborate with others
on how to ensure true equality in health care
and society at large.
AGAIN, I QUOTE MARTIN
LUTHER KING, JR.:
" The ultimate measure of a man is not
where he stands in moments of comfort and
convenience, but where he stands at times of
challenge and controversy. "
" He who passively accepts evil is as much
involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.
He who accepts evil without protesting against
it is really cooperating with it. "
" The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression
and cruelty by the bad people but the silence
over that by the good people. "
America is at a critical crossroad. How will
your story be written? How will the story of your
practice, institution, family, and community
My prayer is that we all leave a legacy of which
we and our families can be proud. We can be
assured of this by observing the following: " He
has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And
what does the Lord require of you? To act justly
and to love mercy and to walk humbly with
your God. " Micah 6:8 (NIV)
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Central PA Medicine Winter 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Central PA Medicine Winter 2021
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